Judge orders Kemp to testify in front of grand jury -- but after November election

ATLANTA — A Fulton County judge Monday ordered Gov. Brian Kemp to testify before the special purpose grand jury investigating potential criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 election, but he allowed the governor to delay that testimony until after the November election.

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Kemp originally agreed to testify, but after a communications breakdown with the Fulton County district attorney’s Office, he decided to fight the subpoena, saying the Georgia Constitution stated a sitting governor could not be compelled to testify. Just last week, Kemp’s attorney argued that point before Judge Robert McBurney, the judge overseeing the grand jury. McBurney reminded the attorneys then that the governor was not the subject of the investigation.


“This is not an investigation of the governor,” McBurney said. “As I understand the theory of the investigation, if the governor were to fall into a category, it would be victim.”

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In his order, McBurney insisted Kemp must testify but acknowledged the politics surrounding his appearance.

“The governor must honor the subpoena,” McBurney wrote. “The governor is in the midst of a re-election campaign, and this criminal grand jury investigation should not be used by the District Attorney, the Governor’s opponent or the Governor himself to influence the outcome of that election.”

At a Monday afternoon news conference, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis praised the judge’s order.

“I think it’s appropriate for witnesses that have information in that investigation to testify,” Willis said. “I think we’re about 60% through of all the people who need to be brought up. I’m pleased with the pace that we’re going. Many people are unsuccessfully fighting our subpoenas. We will continue to fight and make sure that the grand jury and the public gets the truth, and I am very hopeful by the end of the year, I’ll be able to send the Grand Jury on their way.”

This grand jury cannot indict. It can only write a report on whether it believes there is enough evidence for an indictment.

The judge Monday also ordered Trump’s campaign lawyer Ken Chesebro to testify before that Grand Jury as well.