Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to appear in person before a Georgia grand jury after claiming he was too sick to fly. The jury is investigating whether Donald Trump illegally influenced the 2020 election.
The former New York mayor and Trump attorney, who had two heart stents implanted in July, was due to appear before the panel on Tuesday and reportedly told prosecutors he couldn’t fly to Georgia because he’s not well enough, according to the New York Times.
Judge Robert McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court, who set a tentative date of 17 August for Mr Giuliani to testify, told Mr Giuliani he should explore other options to travel to Atlanta from New York.
“Mr Giuliani is not cleared for air travel, A-I-R,” Mr McBurney said during a hearing on Tuesday, according to the Times.
“John Madden drove all over the country in his big bus, from stadium to stadium. So one thing we need to explore is whether Mr Giuliani could get here without jeopardising his recovery and his health. On a train, on a bus or Uber, or whatever it would be. New York is not close to Atlanta, but it’s not traveling from Fairbanks.”
Mr McBurney said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should inform Mr Giuliani if he is the target of the criminal probe.
“Don’t leave them hanging on that front,” Mr McBurney said, according to the Associated Press.
Ms Willis’s office have already told 17 people involved in the case that they are targets.
The judge said he would consider changing the 17 August date if Mr Giuliani’s lawyers produced medical evidence. He also suggested Mr Giuliani could break up the 13-hour journey by staying overnight in Washginton DC on the way.
Prosecutors had raised doubts that Mr Giuliani’s illness prevented him from flying, pointing out posts on his Twitter account showing him apparently catching a flight to New Hampshire and booking flights to Europe.
Mr Giuliani’s attorney William Thomas countered that the former New York mayor had driven to New Hampshire, and plane tickets purchased for him by conference planners in Europe were later cancelled, The Times reported.
Ms Willis has previously confirmed her investigation was looking into a January 2021 phone call where Mr Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to overturn his loss.