Pat Cipollone and Kelly Loeffler testify before a Georgia grand jury




CNN

Prosecutors in Georgia have obtained grand jury testimony from two key witnesses — former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and former White House adviser Pat Cipollone — in the investigation into efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The grand jury hearings in recent months, which have not been previously reported, highlight a wide-ranging investigation underway as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks into efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to try to keep him in power.

Cipollone was the White House’s top lawyer at the end of the Trump administration and participated in a series of meetings where Trump and his allies discussed ways to push voter fraud allegations and efforts to overturn election results, despite his own Justice Department investigations. found no evidence to support claims of widespread fraud.

Cipollone has testified before a House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, as well as a federal Justice Department criminal investigation grand jury, where he sought Trump’s privilege requests to decline to answer certain questions. He declined to comment on questions about the grand jury.

Loeffler’s testimony before the grand jury comes as hundreds of text messages from Loeffler surfaced, revealing new details about the Georgia Republican’s correspondence in the months leading up to and following the Jan. 6, 2021, election campaign efforts. US Capitol.

Loeffler lost his Senate seat last year in a race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. Loeffler currently runs a conservative voter mobilization organization in Georgia.

Loeffler was a staunch Trump ally while serving in Congress as a junior senator from Georgia and, before the Jan. 6 violence, had planned to vote against certifying his state’s election results in favor of the former president’s broader effort to overturn Joe Biden’s legal victory.

After the attack on the US Capitol, Loeffler retracted his objection, saying on the Senate floor: “When I arrived in Washington this morning, I intended to oppose the certification of electoral votes. However, today’s events have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now object in good conscience to the credentials of those elected.”

In the same speech, Loeffler condemned the violence in the Capitol, calling it “disgusting.”

It’s unclear what Fulton County prosecutors hoped to get out of Loeffler, as grand jury proceedings in their sprawling investigation are secret.

Loeffler spokeswoman Caitlin O’Dea declined to comment on Loeffler’s grand jury appearance.

The text messages, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and also obtained by CNN, reveal that Loeffler appeared to be in direct contact with members of the Trump family in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, including the former president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka. .

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that it was able to confirm the authenticity of the exchanges with four people who participated in the interviews.

Loeffler also received several messages during that time from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, including one asking her to talk about “a plan we’re developing on how to vote in the Jan. 6 caucuses,” a month before that date, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and According to reports obtained by CNN.

On Dec. 20, Green also invited Loeffler to a White House meeting he arranged with Trump and other members of Congress “in several key states that were going to challenge Biden’s Electoral College votes on Jan. 6,” according to the posts.

A spokesman for Green did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The log contains more than 400 text messages and appears to contain only election-related correspondence. The 59-page document was sent to media organizations by an anonymous sender, who declined to provide further details about the source of the communications, between early November 2020 and early February 2021.

The document was submitted as a report from Cellebrite, a service used by researchers to collect, review and analyze cellphone data, according to the company’s website.

O’Dea called the text messages “unverified content” and called their release “a desperate attempt to distract voters twenty days after the election. As a major Republican donor who has invested millions in rebuilding Georgia’s conservative infrastructure over the past year and a half, Kelly’s opposition attacks are not surprising.

Jeff DiSantis, deputy district attorney, said Thursday, “The Fulton County Prosecutor’s Office has not released any documents related to Senator Kelly Loeffler.” He declined to comment on the grand jury’s findings.