South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller ruled Wednesday that Meadows must comply with a subpoena because his testimony is “material and necessary to the investigation and the state of Georgia is ensuring that it does not cause him undue hardship.” .
The ruling was confirmed Wednesday by Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis. DiSantis said Meadows would not be called up until after the midterm elections.
An attorney for Meadows said Wednesday that there is a possibility of an appeal or additional legal action.
“There may be additional proceedings before the trial judge before a decision is made on an appeal,” said Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger.
Meadows, who served four terms as a congressman from North Carolina before becoming Trump’s White House chief of staff, has helped promote Trump’s baseless claims that widespread voter fraud handed the presidency to Joe Biden. Meadows has said that he now lives in South Carolina, though registered to vote in 2020 using a North Carolina mobile home address.
In its petition seeking Meadows’ testimony, Willis pointed to Meadows’ involvement in a phone call Trump made on January 2, 2021, to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), asking him to “find” 11,780 votes that would allow Trump defeat Biden in the state.
Willis wrote that she was also interested in testimony about a meeting Meadows attended on Dec. 21, 2020, at the White House with Trump and others “to discuss allegations of voter fraud and the certification of Georgia electoral college votes.” and other states.
Willis also noted in the petition that on December 22, 2020, Meadows “paid a surprise visit” to the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Georgia, where the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were. conducting an audit. of signatures on absentee ballots.
There, Meadows “requested to personally observe the audit process but was prevented from doing so because the audit was not open to the public,” Willis wrote.
Meadows had tried to vacate the Georgia subpoena, citing executive privilege and arguing that the Georgia special grand jury is conducting a civil investigation and that it is not a criminal proceeding that requires his testimony. Willis has said that the special grand jury investigation focuses on criminal acts.
Meadows’ South Carolina attorney, James W. Bannister, argued in court papers that the subpoena was moot because it was past the September date his testimony was originally requested.
The Meadows ruling came Wednesday as another prominent Republican, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (SC), has appealed to the Supreme Court to block a request for his testimony.
Graham has argued that he is protected from having to testify by constitutional protections provided to lawmakers conducting official business.
Judge Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily stayed a subpoena for Graham. the brief order appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as Graham’s petition to the Supreme Court progress. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline to respond to Graham’s request, which generally means the issue will be considered by the full court.
Last week, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. turned down an attempt by Graham to block a subpoena from Willis. The legislator affirmed in that court that a sitting senator is protected from testifying in such investigations.
Despite resistance from Graham, Meadows and others, the Georgia grand jury has heard testimony from top Trump advisers, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Testimony requests are pending from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.
Many Georgia Republican officials have testified. The list includes Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and his staff, Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr (R), state legislators and local poll workers. The state’s Republican Governor, Brian Kemp, filed a 121-page motion in August to vacate a subpoena requiring his testimony. The judge overseeing the investigation has agreed to delay the governor’s appearance until after the 2022 election. Kemp is seeking re-election.