Judge delays Gov. Kemp's testimony in Georgia election probe

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ATLANTA (AP) — A judge ruled Monday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp must testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating possible illegal attempts by then-President Donald Trump and others to influence the 2020 election in the state — but not until after the November midterm election.

Lawyers for Kemp had argued that immunities related to his position as governor protect him from having to testify. But Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, disagreed and said the governor must testify. But he did agree to a request from Kemp's lawyers to delay that testimony until after the Nov. 8 election, in which the Republican governor faces a rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Either side could appeal the ruling.

A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and a lawyer for Kemp did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A delay could increase the likelihood that Trump will be a declared presidential candidate by the time the investigation moves toward its conclusion, further raising the political stakes.

Prosecutors have said they want to ask Kemp about contacts with Trump and others in the wake of the 2020 general election.

Willis opened the investigation early last year, prompted by a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during which the then-president suggested the state’s top election official could “find” the votes needed to overturn his loss. But the investigation’s scope has widened considerably since then.

Raffensperger and some other state officials have already appeared before the special grand jury.

Kate Brumback, The Associated Press