Rudy Giuliani
Rudy GiulianiReuters

Prosecutors in Atlanta on Monday told lawyers for Rudy Giuliani that he's a target of their criminal investigation into possible illegal attempts by then-President Donald Trump and others to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia, one of Giuliani's lawyers, according to The Associated Press.

Special prosecutor Nathan Wade alerted Giuliani's local attorney in Atlanta that the former New York City mayor and personal Trump attorney could face criminal charges, said another of Giuliani's lawyers, Bob Costello.

News of the disclosure was first reported by The New York Times.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation last year, and a special grand jury was seated in May at her request. She identified Giuliani as both a personal attorney for Trump and a lead attorney for his re-election campaign.

County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who's overseeing the special grand jury, has instructed Giuliani to appear before the panel to testify on Wednesday, according to AP.

Willis's investigation was spurred by a phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January of 2021.

In that recording, published by the Washington Post,Trump was heard pressuring Raffensperger to “recalculate” the vote count in his state, because, as he says, “I just want to find 11,780 votes.”

During the phone call, Trump tells Raffensperger that, “There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way! We won by hundreds of thousands of votes,” to which Raffensperger responds, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, that the data you have is wrong.”

"There's nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you've recalculated," Trump continues. "You should want to have an accurate election - and you're a Republican."

Willis last month filed petitions seeking to compel testimony from seven Trump associates and advisers. Because they don't live in Georgia, she had to use a process that involves asking a judge in the states where they live to order them to appear.

In a petition seeking Giuliani's testimony, Willis wrote that he and others appeared at a state Senate committee meeting and presented a video that Giuliani said showed election workers producing "suitcases" of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.

Within 24 hours of that hearing on Dec. 3, 2020, Raffensperger's office had debunked the video. Giuliani, however, continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings claiming widespread voter fraud using the debunked video, Willis wrote.

Raffensperger testified in June before the House committee probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Giuliani was subpoenaed by the House select committee in January. However, he backed out of his appearance after the panel refused to allow him to record the interview.