SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge on Tuesday said former national security adviser Michael Flynn must testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta that’s looking into whether then-President Donald Trump He and his associates illegally attempted to influence the 2020 election. Georgia.

Charles Roberts, Chief Judge of Sarasota County, ordered Flynn You will be asked to testify in front of the panel on November 22.

For Attorneys Flynn, a retired lieutenant general who served briefly as national security adviser under Trump, had argued that the special grand jury’s investigation was a civil matter, rather than a criminal one. That is why, Flynn They argued that no one should be forced to testify.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, has said that the special grand jury’s investigation is a criminal proceeding. He also certified Flynn You can also use it as a “necessary and material witness.”

Roberts affirmed that statement, saying: “General Flynn is a material witness.” A motion by Flynn’s attorneys to stay his ruling in anticipation of an appeal.

“There’s no undue hardship,” Roberts said.

Flynn spoke only in response to the judge’s questions and did not answer reporters’ questions after the hearing. Because Flynn lives outside GeorgiaWillis needed to use a process to obtain a Florida judge to allow him to obey her summons.

The investigationFulton County District attorney is the leader of this group Fani WillisAs Trump prepares for a third presidential run, he sees, as one of the biggest legal threats he faces. Willis sought testimony from many high-profile Trump associates to assist him in his investigation.

Former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who’s been told he could face criminal charges In the investigation testified in August. Judges also ordered that the former chief of staff for Trump’s White House was fired. Mark Meadows Former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich To testify in the next month. Gingrich appealed his ruling Monday.

Cassidy Hutchinson was an aide to Meadows and is expected to appear before Wednesday’s special grand jury. In Before the U.S. House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2020, attack on Hutchinson, the Capitol of the United States, Hutchinson gave testimony in June detailed what she saw and heard at the White House on that day and in the days preceding the insurrection, including discussions of how Trump’s election loss could be overturned.

A special grand jury also heard from officials of high rank, including state officials. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Chris Carr, Attorney General. Gov. Brian Kemp, who was tried unsuccessfully to avoid testifying but was allowed to delay his appearance until after last week’s election, was seen leaving the courthouse Tuesday. Trump called all those state officials following the 2020 election.

In An interview with a right-wing cable channel news channel in mid-2018 2020 Flynn Trump “could take military capabilities” Place them in swing states. “basically re-run an election in each of those states,” Willis wrote in a petition To compel his testimony to the special grand jury.

Flynn Also met at the White House with Trump, Sidney Powell, and other Trump campaign associates on December 18, 2020. According to reports, the meeting was successful. “focused on topics including invoking martial law, seizing voting machines, and appointing Powell as special counsel to investigate the 2020 election,” Willis wrote.

He attended meetings at Lin Wood’s South Carolina home in November 2021. Willis reported that Wood stated in a television interview, that they had met to discuss possible ways to influence the election results. Georgia and other places. According to Wood, he testified in front of the special grand jury last Wednesday.

Willis began the investigation in early 2013 shortly after an audio recording of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call Publicity was made about the meeting between Trump and Raffensperger In Raffensperger was then urged by the Republican president to return that call. “find” To overturn his narrow defeat in the state to Democrat Joe Biden, he needed the votes.

The investigation’s scope has broadened Since then, there has been a special grand jury with subpoena powers. seated in MayWillis was able to demand testimony from witnesses who might otherwise decline. The secret grand jury works in secret, with witnesses’ testimony kept private.

Special grand juries In Georgia These are usually used to investigate complicated cases involving many witnesses. They can subpoena witness testimony and compel evidence, but not indictments. A special grand jury can make a recommendation for action after the investigation has been completed. It is up to the district attorney whether to request an indictment from a regular Grand Jury.

Brumback reported in Atlanta. Eric Tucker, Associated Press reporter in Washington, contributed reporting.