Aug 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump tells Georgia witness not to testify

Former President Donald Trump signs autographs hits his shot from the 16th tee during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club on August 13, 2023 in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Former President Trump signs autographs at Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club on August 13 in Bedminster, New Jersey. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Former President Trump on Monday appeared to warn former Georgia lieutenant governor Geoff Duncan against testifying before the Fulton County grand jury in the state's 2020 election probe.

Driving the news: "I am reading reports that failed former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Jeff Duncan, will be testifying before the Fulton County Grand Jury," Trump wrote on his Truth Social account on Monday.

  • "He shouldn't. I barely know him but he was, right from the beginning of this Witch Hunt, a nasty disaster for those looking into the Election Fraud that took place in Georgia."
  • Duncan, who criticized Trump's false election fraud claims in 2020, said Saturday that he had been told to appear Tuesday before the Fulton County grand jury.
  • "Republicans should never let honesty be mistaken for weakness," he wrote in a post on X.

Between the lines: Independent journalist George Chidi, who was originally supposed to testify on Tuesday, wrote in a post on "X" that he was testifying on Monday.

  • They're "moving faster than they thought," Chidi wrote.

What's next: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis appears poised to issue a charging decision on Trump's alleged efforts to subvert election results.

The big picture: Trump's Monday Truth Social post comes days after the judge overseeing a separate trial — the federal probe into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election — warned against making "inflammatory statements" that could intimidate witnesses in that trial.

  • U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan said during a Friday hearing that any appearance of witness tampering would increase the need for a speedy trial.
  • Trump already faces three criminal trials: In D.C. over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, in Florida over his retention of classified documents and in New York over an alleged hush money payment.

Go deeper: Why Georgia's case against Trump could be so damaging

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