Judge says Michael Flynn must testify in Ga. election probe

Nov 14, 2022, 11:47 PM | Updated: Nov 15, 2022, 3:02 pm
Former National Security Advisor to President Trump, Michael Flynn, appeared in court Tuesday, Nov....

Former National Security Advisor to President Trump, Michael Flynn, appeared in court Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, to try to quash an order to appear before a Georgia special purpose grand jury investigating attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. Sarasota County Chief Judge Charles Roberts ordered Flynn to testify before the panel on Nov. 22. (Mike Lang/Sarasota Herald-Tribune via AP, Pool)

(Mike Lang/Sarasota Herald-Tribune via AP, Pool)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge on Tuesday said former national security adviser Michael Flynn must testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta that’s looking into whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia.

Sarasota County Chief Judge Charles Roberts ordered Flynn to testify before the panel on Nov. 22.

Attorneys for Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who served briefly as national security adviser under Trump, had argued that the special grand jury’s investigation was a civil matter, rather than a criminal one. For that reason, Flynn should not be compelled to testify, they argued.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, has said that the special grand jury’s investigation is a criminal proceeding. He also certified Flynn as a “necessary and material witness.”

Roberts honored that, saying, “General Flynn is a material witness.” The judge also denied a motion by Flynn’s attorneys to stay his ruling in anticipation of an appeal.

“There’s no undue hardship,” Roberts said.

Flynn spoke only in response to the judge’s questions and did not answer reporters’ questions after the hearing. Because Flynn lives outside Georgia, Willis had to use a process to try to get a judge where he lives in Florida to order him to comply with her summons.

The investigation, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is seen as one of the most significant potential legal threats to the former president as he prepares to announce a third run for the presidency. Willis has sought the testimony of numerous high-profile Trump associates as witnesses in the investigation.

Former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who’s been told he could face criminal charges in the investigation, testified in August. Judges have also ordered former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich to testify later this month. Gingrich on Monday initiated an appeal of his ruling.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as an aide to Meadows, is expected to appear before the special grand jury Wednesday. In testimony in June before the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Hutchinson detailed what she saw and heard at the White House on that day and in the days preceding the insurrection, including discussions of how Trump’s election loss could be overturned.

The special grand jury has also heard from high-ranking state officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr. Gov. Brian Kemp, who had tried unsuccessfully to avoid testifying but was allowed to delay his appearance until after last week’s election, was seen leaving the courthouse Tuesday. All of those state officials received calls from Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

In an interview on a right-wing cable news channel in mid-December 2020, Flynn said Trump “could take military capabilities” and place them in swing states and “basically re-run an election in each of those states,” Willis wrote in a petition seeking to compel his testimony before the special grand jury.

Flynn also met at the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, with Trump, attorney Sidney Powell and others associated with the Trump campaign for a meeting that, according to news reports, “focused on topics including invoking martial law, seizing voting machines, and appointing Powell as special counsel to investigate the 2020 election,” Willis wrote.

And he attended meetings in November 2021 at the South Carolina home of conservative attorney Lin Wood. Willis wrote that Wood said in a television interview that they met to look into possible ways to influence the election results in Georgia and elsewhere. Wood told The Associated Press that he testified before the special grand jury last week.

Willis opened the investigation early last year, shortly after a recording of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Raffensperger was made public. In that call, the Republican president urged Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state to Democrat Joe Biden.

The investigation’s scope has broadened since then, and a special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May, allowing Willis to compel testimony from people who might otherwise refuse. The special grand jury operates in secret with witness testimony closed to the public.

Special grand juries in Georgia are generally used to investigate complex cases with many witnesses. They can compel evidence and subpoena testimony from witnesses, but they cannot issue indictments. Once its investigation is complete, a special grand jury can recommend action, but it remains up to the district attorney to decide whether to then seek an indictment from a regular grand jury.


Brumback reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed reporting.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Croatian military plane crashes during training flight

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A Croatian MiG-21 military jet crashed during a training flight Tuesday, the country’s Ministry of Defense said. The crash happened in an uninhabited forested area in the northeast of the country around 2 p.m. (1300 GMT). A search team was looking for the crew, the ministry statement said. No other details […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey says Finland must end arms embargo to join NATO

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Finland must publicly declare that it’s lifting an arms embargo on Turkey to win Ankara’s approval for its membership to NATO, the Turkish foreign minister said Tuesday. Mevlut Cavusoglu made the comments ahead of visit by Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen, who will be discussing his nation’s bid to join the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev poses for a picture during an interview on July 28, 2021, in New Yo...
Associated Press

Robinhood takes on retirement in search for more growth

NEW YORK (AP) — EMBARGOED UNTIL 8:30 AM ET ON 12/6, TUESDAY Robinhood, the company that blazed onto Wall Street after turning millions of novices into investors by making trading fun, is now setting its sights on a more staid corner of the industry: saving for retirement. The company on Tuesday is initiating signups for […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Pope tightens oversight of Vatican-linked foundations

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday tightened control and oversight over Vatican-based foundations and associations in his latest effort to impose international standards of accounting and governance on Vatican offices and affiliated entities. A new law aims to bring the Holy See into further compliance with recommendations from the Council of Europe’s Moneyval […]
1 day ago
Lina Abu Akleh, niece of fatally shot Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, waits outside the In...
Associated Press

Al Jazeera wants court to probe Palestinian reporter’s death

THE HAGUE (AP) — News channel Al Jazeera on Tuesday formally asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the fatal shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as she was reporting from a Palestinian refugee camp in May. Al Jazeera has accused the Israeli government of specifically targeting its journalists, calling Abu Akleh’s death a war […]
1 day ago
FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct...
Associated Press

Meta oversight board urges changes to VIP moderation system

LONDON (AP) — Facebook parent Meta’s quasi-independent oversight board said Tuesday that an internal system that exempted high-profile users, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, from some or all of its content moderation rules needs a major overhaul. The report by the Oversight Board, which was more than a year in the making, said the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Judge says Michael Flynn must testify in Ga. election probe