- A dispute over Rudy Giuliani’s grand jury testimony centered on whether he could travel to Georgia.
- Giuliani said a medical procedure kept him from flying, but prosecutors cited travel receipts.
- Trump’s personal attorney denied buying plane tickets and said he ignores travel purchases.
Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday denied purchasing plane tickets that local Georgia prosecutors cited in their bid to obtain testimony from the former New York mayor before a grand jury investigating former President Donald’s efforts Trump and his allies to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
A week before his scheduled appearance before that grand jury, Giuliani said a recent medical procedure prevented him from air travel and necessitated a postponement of his testimony.
But, in a new court filing, local prosecutors with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office said they obtained documents showing Giuliani paid cash for several plane tickets – “including tickets to Rome, Italy and Zurich, Switzerland” – for flights between July 22 and July 29.
In a court filing on Tuesday, lawyers for Giuliani said he had not traveled by plane to any location following his recent “surgery”.
“First and foremost, the fact that no such trip ever took place is conspicuously absent from the state’s argument,” wrote Giuliani’s attorney, William Thomas Jr. “Second, Mr. Giuliani never bought plane tickets just in case, or otherwise.”
Thomas wrote that Giuliani had been invited to attend a conference abroad and said that “presumably” the event organizers or some other third party could have purchased tickets on his behalf – “but that is unknown of Mr. Giuliani or his attorney.”
During his trip abroad, Giuliani was due to deliver a speech in Rome, his lawyer added. But Giuliani, “based solely on his health, canceled his speech in Rome,” Thomas wrote in the court filing.
“Mr Giuliani is not aware of anyone else buying tickets for him to go to Rome, but in any event he did not go.”
The filing came just hours before a court hearing on Tuesday — the same day Giuliani was due to appear before the grand jury — at his request to delay his testimony. It was just the latest example of Giuliani claiming to lack knowledge about planning and financing his international trips.
Last week, The New York Times reported that Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash’s company covered tens of thousands of dollars in Giuliani’s travel expenses in the summer of 2019, a period examined by federal investigators during a a criminal investigation into his ties to Ukraine. The nearly three-year investigation, which looked into whether Giuliani unlawfully lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials, is not expected to result in charges, The Times reported.
As that investigation appears to be winding down, Giuliani is under intense scrutiny from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Giuliani has emerged as a key figure in this investigation, in which local prosecutors are examining a now infamous phone call Trump made to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn his defeat. against the then president. elect Joe Biden.
Giuliani was among the president’s allies who took part in a program to create so-called alternative pro-Trump voter lists in key battleground states the former president lost in 2020, including Georgia . Court records showed Willis’ office notified the 16 pro-Trump voters in Georgia that they could face charges as part of the criminal investigation.
Federal prosecutors have also looked into Giuliani’s role in creating alternative lists of pro-Trump voters, and the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has highlighted his role in the spreading false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.