Trump's ex-lawyer Giuliani ordered to testify before Georgia grand jury

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) - Rudy Giuliani, who previously served as Donald Trump's personal lawyer, has been ordered by a judge to testify in August as a witness before a Georgia special grand jury probing the former president's alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

"It is hereby ordered that Rudolph William Louis Giuliani appear and testify" before the grand jury in the state Superior Court of Georgia in Fulton County beginning on Aug. 9, the order filed on Wednesday said after Giuliani, who tried to block the subpoena, failed to appear at a hearing in New York.

This month, the special grand jury in Georgia issued subpoenas to Senator Lindsey Graham and members of Trump's former legal team, including Giuliani, a former New York City mayor. read more

The probe was launched after Trump was recorded in a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call pressuring Georgia's secretary of state to overturn the state's election results based on unfounded claims of voter fraud. Giuliani, who was not immediately available for comment, spearheaded legal efforts by Trump to overturn the electoral results in multiple swing states, including Georgia, that were won by President Joe Biden.

In the call, Trump urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to "find" enough votes to overturn his Georgia loss to Democrat Biden.

The transcript quotes Trump telling Raffensperger: "I just want to find 11,780 votes" -- the number Trump needed to win Georgia.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in the phone call. In January, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested the grand jury, saying its subpoena power was needed to compel witness testimony.

Legal experts have said Trump's phone calls may have violated at least three state election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio

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Kanishka Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, who primarily covers US politics and national affairs in his current role. His past breaking news coverage has spanned across a range of topics like the Black Lives Matter movement; the US elections; the 2021 Capitol riots and their follow up probes; the Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; the COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court verdict on a religious dispute site in his native India.