Aug 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump legal adviser ordered to testify in 2020 election probe

Jenna Ellis, a member of former President Trump's legal team, in Lansing, Mich., in 2020. Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis was ordered Tuesday to appear before the Georgia special grand jury investigating the efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Prosecutors are interested in the role Ellis, an attorney who represented former President Trump during and after the 2020 presidential election, played in coordinating legislative hearings in Georgia and other states where false claims of voter fraud were made, per AP.

Driving the news: Judge Gregory Lammons of Colorado gave the order after a hearing requested by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

  • In the petition seeking her testimony, Willis identified Ellis as "an attorney for the Trump Campaign’s legal efforts seeking to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere," AP notes.
  • Willis said evidence indicated her actions were part of a "multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere."
  • In preparation for Ellis to testify on Aug. 25, prosecutors in Fulton County bought plane tickets and made a hotel reservation.

Catch up quick: Last week, a Fulton County judge ruled Rudy Giuliani had to testify before the special purpose grand jury focused on the investigation, despite a recent procedure that Giuliani's lawyers said prohibited him from air travel.

Background: The investigation into whether Trump and others illegally tried to influence the election in Georgia was prompted by a phone call that took place in January 2021 between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

  • During that call, Trump suggested Raffensperger "find 11,780 votes" — enough to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state.

Go deeper: A guide to Georgia's election lawsuits

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