Boris Epshteyn, one of former President Donald Trump’s most prominent lawyers, testified Thursday before a special grand jury in Atlanta that has been convened as part of a criminal investigation into election interference by Trump and his allies.
Epshteyn played a central role in efforts to keep Trump in power despite his loss in the 2020 election. He now serves as an in-house counsel for the former president, helping coordinate the Trump team’s various legal defense efforts; a separate federal investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents is underway, along 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 latest legal complication for Epshteyn — one of a number of Trump lawyers who have themselves faced an onslaught of criminal and civil exposure. Earlier this month, federal investigators seized Epshteyn’s cellphone as part of yet another federal investigation, this one into the attempts to overturn the election results and the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
His lawyer did not return calls for comment.
The investigation is being conducted by Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta. Willis is weighing potential conspiracy and racketeering charges in the investigation, among others, documents have shown. Her office is known to have already identified nearly 20 targets who could face criminal charges, including Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer. It is not clear whether Epshteyn also faces potential legal jeopardy in the case or is appearing solely as a witness.
As part of her investigation, Willis has examined the phone call that Trump made Jan. 2, 2021, to Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, imploring him to find nearly 12,000 votes, or enough to reverse the outcome in his favor. She is also seeking to question Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., about earlier calls he made to Raffensperger.
And she is examining Republicans who assembled a bogus slate of electors in an effort to thwart the outcome of the popular vote in Georgia. Epshteyn played a leading role in that effort. In filings earlier this year that sought to compel his testimony, Willis’ office said that Epshteyn “possesses unique knowledge concerning 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 Epshteyn did with MSNBC in January, when he said he was “part of the process, to make sure there were alternate electors for when, as we hoped, the challenges to the seated electors would be heard and would be successful.”
Epshteyn was also subpoenaed this year 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 results in light of Vice President Pence’s unwillingness to deny or delay certification.”