Rudy Giuliani ordered to appear before Georgia’s special grand jury next week

(CNN) Rudy Giuliani was ordered Tuesday by an Atlanta-area judge to appear in person before the Aug. 17 special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies failed in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results , have broken the law in Georgia.

Lawyers for Giuliani, who served as Trump’s attorney in the 2020 election, want to postpone his appearance originally scheduled for Tuesday, saying not to fly after he underwent heart stent surgery last month.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney suggested Giuliani explore land-based travel options.

“John Madden drove his big bus across the country from stadium to stadium. So we need to investigate whether Mr. Giuliani could come here without jeopardizing his recovery and his health, on the train, on the bus or whatever.” That would be it,” McBurney said during the hearing.

Attorney Bill Thomas, who is representing Giuliani, told CNN after the hearing that they were reviewing “all options” for Giuliani’s trip and that they plan to be “back here” on the 17th.

“If the court orders that he travel to Atlanta with the greyhound, we will do as the court orders him,” Thomas said during the hearing.

It’s still not clear if Giuliani is a target of the grand jury investigation. The issue came up briefly at the hearing when Giuliani’s attorney asked questions, but the judge said prosecutors didn’t have to answer right away.

McBurney signed the subpoena in early July and said Giuliani is a “necessary and essential witness” in the special grand jury investigation.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office asked the judge to compel Giuliani to testify, saying they would “provide alternate transportation, including bus or rail, to ensure his appearance before the special grand jury,” according to a court filing.

The district attorney’s office declined offers by Giuliani to appear virtually or wait until he was medically cleared for the flight, according to court documents. On Tuesday, prosecutors said they had “no interest” in Giuliani appearing in any way other than in person.

Giuliani met with Georgia state lawmakers three times in December 2020 after the presidential election, twice in person and once remotely. During the meetings, Giuliani floated conspiracy theories about widespread irregularities and fraud in the state. Among the false claims, Giuliani accused two Atlanta poll workers of smuggling fake Biden ballots in suitcases.

Scores of state and federal officials have refuted Giuliani’s cheating allegations in Georgia, a state that Joe Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes.

Byung “Bjay” Pak, the former chief federal attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, was among those who testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee Investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, which investigated Giuliani’s allegations of voter fraud in Fulton County by federal agencies and found untrue.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis detailed the wide-ranging scope of the investigation, stating that it includes potential “incitement to voter fraud, making false statements to state and local government agencies, conspiracy, extortion, violation of oath of office, etc.” any Engaging in violence or threats related to electoral administration.”

CNN’s Celeste Noraian and Preston Fore contributed to this report.