“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,” the judge wrote.
By declining to help overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, Mr. Kemp enraged Mr. Trump, who had endorsed him during his initial run for governor in 2018. This year, Mr. Trump backed an unsuccessful primary challenger, former U.S. Senator David Perdue.
Mr. Kemp is now facing a formidable Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, in the general election, and he finds himself in a delicate position politically as he seeks to consolidate support among pro- and anti-Trump forces in his party.
After Mr. Kemp filed a motion to avoid testifying, Ms. Abrams pounced. A video she shared asked, “Why isn’t Brian Kemp testifying in court?” She also told CNN that Mr. Kemp “has coasted on this notion that he is an anti-Trump moderate, but we know that he has described himself as a Trump conservative.”
A lawyer for Mr. Kemp declined to comment on the judge’s ruling Monday, as did a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.
In a separate motion, the judge also denied efforts by Kenneth Chesebro, a Trump campaign lawyer, to avoid testifying before the special grand jury.
The grand jurors have already heard from Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has been identified as a target in the investigation, meaning that prosecutors believe he may eventually be indicted. Last week, prosecutors filed paperwork seeking to compel testimony from a number of other Trump associates, including the lawyer and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell and Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff.
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