Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify in front of a Georgia grand jury investigating alleged interference in the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
In a two-page unanimous opinion, the court found Meadows' appeal of a Circuit Court ruling "to be manifestly without merit." All five justices on the court were elected by a Republican-controlled Legislature.
Meadows' attorney, James Bannister, argued his client was protected under executive privilege, the Washington Examiner reported.
Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman, and other Trump allies such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and retired Gen. Michael Flynn have been trying to quash subpoenas related to the grand jury. Efforts by Gingrich and Flynn have so far been rebuffed. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., testified Nov. 22 after his legal fight was dashed by the Supreme Court.
Meadows' subpoena claims he set up a call Jan. 2, 2021, between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to discuss allegations of voter fraud in Georgia. The call, which the subpoena claimed was widely broadcast, had Trump saying to Raffensperger, "I just want to find 11,780 votes." Trump lost the state to Joe Biden by 11,779 votes.
Trump has said that statement was made to indicate the narrow margin in the election making his allegations of election improprieties outcome determinative.
The grand jury does not have powers to indict, but it will make recommendations to Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat who is leading the investigation. The New York Times reported a spokesmen for Meadows and Willis declined to comment on the South Carolina Supreme Court's ruling.
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