A judge in Virginia ruled Wednesday that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich must testify in front of a special grand jury in Georgia before the end of the month.  Siding with prosecutors, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith said Gingrich must testify in front of the special grand jury in Atlanta before Nov. 29. The 79-year-old Gingrich has repeatedly attempted to avoid testifying in the probe, arguing that the appearance in Atlanta was “not necessary and would impose an undue hardship.”

The probe, which was launched last year by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is investigating possible interference by then-president Donald Trump and others in the 2020 election in Georgia. Willis is seeking to question Gingrich about contact he had with Trump’s campaign in 2020, when Gingrich is accused of pushing for television ads to promote “the false narrative that election workers had smuggled suitcases containing fake ballots” into a location where ballots were being counted. In court filings, Willis has called Gingrich a “necessary and material witness for the investigation.”

Gingrich’s attorney John Burlingame said his client would likely appeal the decision, arguing that Gingrich’s upcoming appearance before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol should spare Gingrich from the separate probe in Georgia. That interview is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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