Governor Brian Kemp is scheduled to testify today before the Fulton County special grand jury examining whether Trump and his allies criminally meddled in Georgia’s 2020 elections. Yes, a special grand jury is still investigating the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The governor and the D.A. are not confirming Kemp’s appearance but people spoke anonymously to confirm it.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is on a mission to get to the bottom of what happened in Georgia after the state called the election for Joe Biden. Allegedly Trump was asking that the secretary of state “find” over 11,000 more votes for him, the amount of votes he came up short. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is on the record as saying he refused Trump’s request. Kemp is among the most high-profile witnesses to testify before the 23-person grand jury. It’s a win for Willis, who has been trying for a year-and-a-half to get Kemp to agree to testify.
Among Trump’s inner circle, D.A. Willis and Senator Lindsey Graham have been battling over whether or not he will testify. Graham took it all the way to the Supreme Court and the Court said he does have to testify, though there are some questions that may fall into protected territory due to Graham’s position as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the election. Allegedly Graham made two phone calls to Raffensperger about counting mail-in ballots.
Kemp was originally scheduled to testify last summer but that agreement fell through. Now that Kemp’s re-election campaign is over and he handily won, he and the D.A. worked out a time for him to appear. It was agreed upon earlier that Kemp’s testimony could wait until after the election.
Kemp is “uniquely knowledgeable about the election interference matters being investigated by the grand jury since he was personally involved in the conversations at issue,” Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor advising the grand jury, said in an August court filing.
Kemp had initially cooperated voluntarily with the investigation, agreeing to a July 25 taped interview under oath.
But communications soured between his team and prosecutors over the summer, according to internal emails shared in August court filings. When the two sides couldn’t agree on ground rules for the interview, Kemp’s aides called it off, and the governor was subpoenaed shortly thereafter.
The day before Kemp was scheduled to appear before the grand jury on Aug. 18, the governor’s attorney moved to quash the subpoena, arguing that it was a politically-motivated summons designed to hurt Kemp less than 90 days before the election by Willis, a Democrat.
His counsel also argued that Kemp was shielded from testifying due to sovereign immunity, executive privilege and attorney-client privilege.
To be clear, there are no accusations that Kemp did any kind of criminal activity during this time. It’s rare for a sitting governor to be subpoenaed in a criminal investigation. The Georgia special grand jury has heard from Raffensperger, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Attorney General Chris Carr, three top Republican officials in Georgia. Earlier on Monday, Kemp’s outside counsel filed a motion under seal in Fulton Superior Court that contained “information sensitive to the Special Purpose Grand Jury’s ongoing investigation.”
At this rate, we’ll be going into the 2024 presidential election with unfinished business from the 2020 election. Georgia voters clearly hold no grudges against Kemp and his behavior during the 2020 election cycle. We’ll see if anything makes headlines after Kemp’s testimony before the special grand jury today.