Judge Leigh Martin May of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia scheduled a hearing on the issue for July 25.
Hice has served as a member of the U.S. House since 2015. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for secretary of state this spring against incumbent Brad Raffensperger. Armed with the endorsement of Donald Trump, he promoted many of the same falsehoods of widespread election fraud that have been championed by the former president.
In late 2020, Hice joined a Texas legal challenge seeking to invalidate Georgia’s election results at the Supreme Court. He introduced an objection to Georgia’s election results as Congress tallied Electoral College votes hours after the Jan. 6 insurrection and caught flack for publishing — and later deleting — a social media post calling that day’s protests “our 1776 moment.” (His aides said the post was not an endorsement of the deadly attack.)
A longtime member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, Hice maintained close relationships with several members of Trump’s inner circle, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
He attended a Dec. 21, 2020, White House strategy meeting with Meadows, Jordan, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and other GOP lawmakers, according to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks. Attendees allegedly discussed organizing a slate of “alternative” GOP electors who would declare Trump the winner of the election, as well as pressing Vice President Mike Pence to disregard the true Democratic electors in Georgia and six other swing states.
Paradise’s memo said that Hice wasn’t sure what prosecutors and the grand jury want to talk to him about. But she said that the congressman was “acting squarely within his Congressional jurisdiction” in the aftermath of the 2020 elections and that his actions can’t be questioned in any legal proceeding.
Hice serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform and Natural Resources committees.
The memo also argued that the Fulton District Attorney’s office should only come to Hice in extraordinary circumstances in which they can’t get the information from anybody else because Hice, as a member of Congress, is a high-ranking government official with special legal protections.
“The District Attorney bears the burden of demonstrating that Congressman Hice not only has first-hand knowledge of the information sought, but also that the information may not be obtained from other sources, such as other individuals who may have been in discussions or meetings that are of interest to the District Attorney, who are not high-ranking officials,” Paradise wrote in the memo. “It is unlikely that (Fulton DA Fani Willis) will be able to show such extraordinary circumstances.
It’s unclear whether any other current or former members of Georgia’s congressional delegation have been subpoenaed by the special grand jury. But Willis recently informed multiple GOP state legislators, as well as state Republican Party Chairman David Shafer, that they’re targets of her investigation.
Hice is retiring from the House at the end of the year.
Staff writer Bill Rankin contributed to this article.