Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
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A dispute over Rudy Giuliani’s grand jury testimony focused on whether he could travel to Georgia.
Giuliani said a medical procedure prevented him from flying, but prosecutors cited travel receipts.
Trump’s personal lawyer denied buying airplane tickets and professed ignorance about the travel purchases.
Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday denied purchasing plane tickets that local prosecutors in Georgia had cited in their bid to get the former New York City mayor’s testimony before a grand jury investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to reverse 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 traveling by plane and necessitated a delay of his testimony.
But, in a new court filing, local prosecutors in the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said they had obtained records showing that Giuliani paid in cash for multiple airline tickets — “including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland” — for flights between July 22 and July 29.
In a court filing Tuesday, Giuliani’s lawyers said he had not traveled by plane to any location following his recent “surgical procedure.”
“First, and foremost, conspicuously absent from the state’s pleading is the fact that no such travel ever occurred,” wrote Giuliani’s lawyer William Thomas Jr. “Secondly, Mr. Giuliani never purchased airline tickets in case, or otherwise.”
Thomas wrote that Giuliani had been invited to attend a conference overseas and said that, “presumably,” the event organizers or some other third-party could have purchased tickets on his behalf — “but that is unknown to Mr. Giuliani or his counsel.”
During his travel overseas, Giuliani was scheduled to give 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 has no knowledge of anyone else purchasing tickets for him to travel to Rome, but in any event he did not go.”
The filing came just hours before a court hearing Tuesday — the same day Giuliani was set to appear before the grand jury — on his request to delay his testimony. It marked just the latest instance of Giuliani professing to lack knowledge about the planning and funding of his international travel.
Last week, the New York Times reported that the company of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash covered tens of thousands of dollars of Giuliani’s travel expenses in the summer of 2019, a period federal investigators scrutinized during a criminal inquiry into his ties to Ukraine. The nearly three-year inquiry, which examined whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials, is unlikely to result in charges, the Times reported.
While that investigation appears to be fading away, Giuliani is coming under intensifying scrutiny from the Fulton County district attorney’s office. Giuliani has emerged as a key figure in that inquiry, in which local prosecutors are examining a now infamous phone call Trump made to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, urging him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss to then-President-elect Joe Biden.
Giuliani was among the president’s allies who participated in a scheme to create so-called alternate slates of pro-Trump electors in key battleground states the former president lost in 2020, including Georgia. Court filings have shown that Willis’ office informed all 16 pro-Trump electors in Georgia that they could face charges in connection with the criminal investigation.
Federal prosecutors have also been examining Giuliani’s role in creating alternate slates of pro-Trump electors, and the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has highlighted his role spreading false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.