Boris Epshteyn, certainly one of former President Donald J. Trump’s most distinguished lawyers, testified on Thursday before a special grand jury in Atlanta that has been convened as a part of a criminal investigation into election interference by Mr. Trump and his allies.
Mr. Epshteyn played a central role in efforts to maintain Mr. Trump in power despite his loss within the 2020 election. He now serves as an in-house counsel for the previous president, helping coordinate the Trump team’s various legal defense efforts; a separate federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s mishandling of classified documents is underway, together with the inquiry by the Congressional committee investigating the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.
The grand jury appearance was the most recent legal complication for Mr. Epshteyn — certainly one of quite a lot of Trump lawyers who’ve themselves faced an onslaught of criminal and civil exposure. Earlier this month, federal investigators seized Mr. Epshteyn’s cellphone as a part of one more federal investigation, this one into the attempts to overturn the election results and the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
His lawyer didn’t return calls for comment.
The investigation is being conducted by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, which incorporates most of Atlanta. Ms. Willis is weighing potential conspiracy and racketeering charges within the investigation, amongst others, documents have shown. Her office is understood to have already identified nearly 20 targets who could face criminal charges, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer. It shouldn’t be clear whether Mr. Epshteyn also faces potential legal jeopardy within the case or is appearing solely as a witness.
As a part of her investigation, Ms. Willis has examined the phone call that Mr. Trump made on Jan. 2, 2021, to Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, imploring him to search out nearly 12,000 votes, or enough to reverse the consequence in his favor. She can also be in search of to query Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina about earlier calls he made to Mr. Raffensperger.
And he or she is examining Republicans who assembled a bogus slate of electors in an effort to thwart the consequence of the favored vote in Georgia. Mr. Epshteyn played a number one role in that effort. In filings earlier this 12 months that sought to compel his testimony, Ms. Willis’s office said that Mr. Epshteyn “possesses unique knowledge in regards to the logistics, planning, and execution of efforts by the Trump Campaign to submit false certiﬁcates of vote to former Vice President Michael Pence and others.”
Her office highlighted an interview that Mr. Epshteyn did with MSNBC in January, when he said he was “a part of the method, to make certain there have been alternate electors for when, as we hoped, the challenges to the seated electors could be heard and would achieve success.”
Mr. Epshteyn was also subpoenaed this 12 months by the Jan. 6 committee, which noted that he had “participated in attempts to disrupt or delay the certification of the election results” and “participated in a call with former President Trump on the morning of January 6, during which options were discussed to delay the certification of election leads to light of Vice President Pence’s unwillingness to disclaim or delay certification.”