Home Pastors Georgia prosecutors investigating Trump’s effort to nullify 2020 election lose subpoena battle with Illinois pastor

Georgia prosecutors investigating Trump’s effort to nullify 2020 election lose subpoena battle with Illinois pastor

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CNN

An Illinois judge has ruled that the Atlanta-area prosecutor is currently investigating the efforts of supporters of former President Donald Trump to nullify the 2020 election did not provide enough evidence to prove that an Illinois pastor had to come forward as a witness in the investigation.

Rev. Stephen Cliffgard Lee, pastor of a Lutheran church in suburban Chicago, was allegedly involved in efforts to try to pressure a Georgia election worker into falsely admitting to voter fraud in 2020, according to reports. Fulton County court documents where District Attorney Fani Willis appointed a special grand jury to consider the matter.

Kendall County, Illinois Circuit Court Judge Robert Pilmer ruled in Lee’s favor earlier this week that there was “insufficient evidence to determine that Lee was material and necessary,” according to Lee’s attorney, David Shestokas.

“There is not a shred of admissible evidence that can be used in a courtroom,” Shestokas told CNN of the certificate filed by a Fulton County Superior Court judge for Lee to appear as a witness in court. the grand jury.

“If Georgia is trying to uphold the law, I think it’s appropriate for Georgia to uphold the law. And so far, at least on the record here in Illinois, Georgia has failed to follow the law,” Shestokas said.

Pilmer’s decision gave Fulton County an additional 30 days to provide additional information or evidence to reconsider.

A spokesperson for Willis told CNN they declined to comment on Lee’s case “at this time.”

Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman called 911 after Lee knocked on the front door of her home on Dec. 15, 2020. When a police officer confronted Lee in his car, he identified himself as a pastor who was before law enforcement and said he was “working with people trying to help Ruby,” according to police body camera footage obtained by CNN. “And also get some truth to what’s going on,” Lee told the officer. Lee has not been charged with any crime.

Freeman and his daughter, who testified before the House Select Committee investigating on January 6, 2021, were among the election workers whom Trump and his campaign had targeted with baseless claims that she was counting fake mail-in ballots in Fulton County.

Willis and his team have also lost a court challenge in September to force podcaster Jacki Pick to testify when a panel of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges noted that the deadline for her subpoena had passed. But court losses in Texas and Illinois were rare defeats for Fulton County prosecutors, at least among their publicly known witnesses. Judges in various states have widely ruled that foreign witnesses must appear before the grand jury.

The Georgian probe — sparked by an hour-long phone call in January 2021 from Trump to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win the Peach State – has continued to expand. It now covers presentations on unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations to state lawmakers, the fake voter schemethe efforts of unauthorized persons to access the voting machines in a Georgia county and a campaign of threats and harassment against junior election officials.

The special-purpose grand jury investigating in Atlanta returned this week after a roughly month-long hiatus for the midterm elections and two attorneys with ties to Trump said they appeared as witnesses this week and answered questions.