The Fulton County district attorney’s office has issued a subpoena to former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik to testify in the first trial later this month in the case stemming from election subversion plots in Georgia, according to his lawyer.
But Kerik’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, is demanding that his client be granted immunity in exchange for testifying, pointing out that prosecutors indicated in the indictment that Kerik was a “co-conspirator” in the case. While not named in the indictment, CNN previously reported that Kerik is co-conspirator No. 5.
With the Kerik subpoena, the Fulton County district attorney’s office is trying to secure potentially crucial trial testimony from a witness who can shed light on various efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to upend the 2020 election results in Georgia. Two of the 19 defendants – pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell – are set to go on trial on October 23.
The pushback from Kerik underscores the difficulties prosecutors face in a complex case where Trump and his allies face possible legal jeopardy in multiple jurisdictions, as prosecutions alleging election interference are being brought in the Peach State and against Trump in Washington, DC.
In a fiery letter to the Fulton County DA’s office Monday, Parlatore wrote: “[N]o competent criminal attorney would allow Mr. Kerik to testify absent a grant of immunity.” Parlatore says Kerik will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions unless he receives written assurance that he will not be prosecuted.
In his letter, Parlatore claims that when he previously expressed this demand to the district attorney’s office, they told him: “If we wanted to indict Mr. Kerik, we would have already done so,” but refused to put assurances in writing.
“To be clear, Mr. Kerik has done nothing wrong and rejects your claim that he is a co-conspirator in any alleged criminal conduct,” Parlatore wrote in his letter. “You made the public accusation, so now you must live with the consequences of Mr. Kerik (and presumably all other alleged unindicted co-conspirators) invoking their 5th Amendment rights and refusing to testify.”
CNN has reached out to the Fulton County DA’s office for comment.
Fulton County prosecutors allege Kerik took part in several meetings with lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona, states Trump was contesting after the 2020 election.
That included the meeting Kerik attended at the White House on November 25, 2020, with a group of Pennsylvania legislators, along with Trump, then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.
Kerik previously sat for an interview with special counsel Jack Smith’s office to answer questions related to the 2020 election aftermath and the January 6, 2021, insurrection. According to Parlatore, Kerik received a “standard proffer letter” before agreeing to that interview.
Kerik is not among the unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators described in Smith’s indictment of Trump in the federal 2020 election probe, according to CNN’s review of the charging document. Nonetheless, Parlatore also suggested that Fulton County prosecutors “coordinate with the Special Counsel’s Office to obtain co-extensive grants of immunity.”