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Mark Meadows must testify in Georgia’s 2020 election probe, SC Supreme Court rules

The State (Columbia, SC) logo The State (Columbia, SC) 11/30/2022 Zak Koeske, The State

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been ordered to testify in front of a Fulton County grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Meadows’ appeal of a Pickens County circuit court order to appear before the grand jury, saying in an unpublished opinion that it found his arguments “manifestly without merit.”

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who now lives in Pickens County, has been identified as a “necessary and material witness” in the case and ordered to testify because he served as Trump’s chief of staff and was in “constant contact” with the former president in the weeks following the November 2020 election.

Following the election, Meadows attended a White House meeting with Trump and members of Congress to discuss voter fraud allegations and certification of electoral college votes from Georgia, according to a petition ordering Meadows to appear before the Fulton County grand jury.

Meadows also made a surprise visit to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations as they conducted an absentee ballot signature match audit and sent emails to U.S. Department of Justice officials alleging voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, and requested an investigation into those claims, the petition says.

Meadows also helped set up and participated in a phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to discuss voter fraud allegations, the petition says.

“The witness (Meadows) possesses unique knowledge concerning relevant communications between the witness, former President Donald Trump, the Trump Campaign and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere,” reads the petition, which says Meadows’ testimony is “essential” to the case.

Meadows, who initially was ordered to testify back in September, has resisted the order to appear before the grand jury.

The dispute wound up coming to Pickens County court because South Carolina, like many states, has agreed to enforce court orders for testimony issued by courts in other states under what is known as the Uniform Act.

Meadows said in court filings that the Uniform Act did not apply in his case because Georgia’s grand jury “does not qualify as a ‘criminal proceeding’ or ‘grand jury’ under South Carolina” law.

Meadows’ attorneys argued he was not a material witness in the case, as defined by the Uniform Act, and that compelling him to testify would violate his right to privacy.

A judge in Pickens County earlier this month ordered Meadows to testify before the Fulton County grand jury on Nov. 30, saying Meadows was a “necessary and material witness” in the special grand jury investigation.

After Meadows appealed the ruling, the case went to the South Carolina Supreme Court, which issued its order Tuesday.

“We have reviewed the arguments raised by (the) appellant and find them to be manifestly without merit,” the state’s high court opined. “Accordingly, we affirm the order of the circuit court.”

The Georgia grand jury also has sought testimony from a number of other high-ranking Trump officials and confidantes, including U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., who, like Meadows, fought a subpoena. Graham ultimately ended up testifying last week after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the subpoena.

©2022 The State. Visit thestate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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