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GOTCHA MEDIA GROUP By Michael MH
In a potentially major development in the criminal probe of former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, a South Carolina judge has ordered Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows is a "necessary and material witness" and must testify.
Meadows' lawyer, James Bannister, had argued that the grand jury is civil in nature, not criminal, and thus cannot compel his client's testimony. That argument has been rejected by the Georgia state judge overseeing the grand jury, but some Texas judges have recently suggested they agree following a similar challenge from several witnesses who reside there.
The court hearing took place in Pickens County, South Carolina, where Meadows resides, because the Fulton County grand jury technically needs a local judge to approve witness subpoenas for out-of-state residents.
The testimony, will be given before a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia.
This is not the first time that Meadows has been asked to testify in the probe. Last month, he was subpoenaed by prosecutors in Fulton County. However, he refused to appear, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The criminal probe in Fulton County is being led by District Attorney Fani Willis. It is focused on whether Trump committed any crimes while in office, specifically with regard to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
A judge orders Mark Meadows to testify in a Georgia election probe
The grand jury probe has already ensnared a number of inner-circle Trump allies, including his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who testified before the grand jury in August and has been informed he is a target of the investigation.
Meadows' testimony could prove to be critical in the probe, as he was one of Trump's closest aides during his time in office. He also played a key role in Trump's efforts to overturn the election results, which included pressuring officials in Georgia to "find" votes for Trump and pressuring the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud.
It remains to be seen whether Meadows will actually testify or if he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right again. If he does testify, it could provide prosecutors with valuable information about Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election—and whether those attempts constituted any criminal acts.
Stay tuned for further developments in this story.