(Bloomberg) -- South Carolina’s highest court rejected an appeal by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to avoid testifying in the Atlanta district attorney’s criminal probe of Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Meadows’s arguments against appearing before a special grand jury are “manifestly without merit,” a panel of judges of the South Carolina Supreme Court held Tuesday, affirming a trial judge’s decision. Meadows lives in the state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the investigation, had argued in court filings that Meadows is a “necessary and material witness” due to his proximity to Trump and his campaign after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
Meadows’s lawyer, James W. Bannister, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the ruling. The South Carolina-based lawyer previously argued in court filings that the demand for testimony in Georgia was invalid because Meadows was likely protected by executive privilege.
Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Read More: Meadows Ordered to Testify in Atlanta’s Trump Election Probe
Meadows made a surprise visit on Dec. 22, 2020, to the Cobb County Civic Center, where he tried unsuccessfully to observe an audit of absentee ballot signatures being conducted by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Willis said in an August court filing.
Meadows also was present when Trump pressured Raffensperger during a Jan. 2, 2021, call to “find” 11,780 votes, enough to reverse his loss in the state, Willis said. That call has led to scrutiny of whether language used by Trump about repercussions if his demands weren’t met constituted potentially illegal threats.
Read More: Meadows Testimony Sought in Georgia Trump Election Probe
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