Kemp’s attorney, Brian McEvoy, said it was Willis’ team that caused months of delays and that it was now too close to the 2022 election, when Kemp is seeking a second term, to hold an interview . Willis called that suggestion “ridiculous.”
“This is NOT a politically motivated investigation. It is a criminal investigation and often at the end of criminal investigations people are fired and often go to jail,” Willis wrote in a July 20 email to McEvoy including in the archive. “You repeatedly refer to this as a politically motivated investigation, it doesn’t.”
Two weeks later, on August 4, the grand jury issued a subpoena for Kemp’s testimony.
The upheaval between Willis and Kemp underscores how deep the grand jury investigation is. It came on the same day that a Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, testified behind closed doors before the grand jury. Emails between McEvoy and Willis’ aides emphasized that the grand jury was also eager to hear Kemp’s testimony. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-R.C.) is also fighting a subpoena for Willis and moved Wednesday to delay a federal court decision declining to overturn the order for him to appear before a grand jury next week.
In subsequent exchanges between McEvoy and members of Willis’s team, the DA’s office made it clear that it planned to compel Kemp’s testimony. Special prosecutor Nathan Wade, a member of Willis’ team, emailed McEvoy on Aug. 9 ordering him to appear before a grand jury on Aug. 18.
“We have made every effort to accommodate the governor and his schedule, however, the grand jurors are asking to move forward with their testimony,” Wade wrote.
McEvoy claims the subpoena is barred by executive privilege and will also likely seek information that would force Kemp to violate attorney-client privilege. It claims it was issued for “political, rather than investigative, reasons.”
In particular, Kemp’s documents lay out in explicit detail the information the district attorney is seeking from him. The governor said he went through tens of thousands of pages of records, including 36,000 in late July, 84,000 on August 2 and 17,000 on August 12. Most of the points provided by the DA to guide these document requests focused on Trump.
The subpoena sought documents that could shed light on “what former President Trump was thinking or doing,” records of phone calls with the former president and documents related to efforts by Trump allies to overturn the election results in Georgia
Willis’ investigation has focused particularly on Trump’s disclosures to state election officials, including a Jan. 2 phone call he made to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” the accurate number of votes necessary to reverse their defeat. Trump also pressured Kemp to rescind his certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the state and publicly berated him when he refused.
Raffensperger and his deputy Gabe Sterling described Trump’s lobbying campaign during public testimony before the select committee from Jan. 6 to June. He has also testified in the Willis investigation.