The Georgia Office of the Secretary of State is debating whether to issue a subpoena against Sen. Raphael Warnock’s church after the organization failed to reply to an October 12 inquiry regarding its charity registration. According to the Free Beacon, a spokesman for the state charities division said that authorities are considering how to increase the pressure on the Ebenezer Building Foundation, including whether to issue a formal subpoena against the church if it does not respond when a Georgia state investigator delivers another investigative letter. While the exact date of delivery of the second letter is unknown, authorities anticipate doing it soon.
The foundation, run by Warnock’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, was instructed by the Securities and Charities Division of Georgia’s Office of the Secretary of State to respond to its original letter by November 2. As Warnock begins his runoff campaign against Republican opponent Herschel Walker, the state’s threat of an investigative subpoena against Ebenezer’s charity could cause him issues.
The church combines its funds with the charity and pays Warnock a $7,417 monthly tax-free housing allowance. Certified financial statements show the two firms had total cash and “cash equivalents” of more than $1.2 million at the end of 2021.
In addition to the investigation by the Secretary of State, former Senator Kelly Loeffler requested authorities expedite an inquiry into any criminal activities at Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project, where Warnock served as chair from 2017 to early 2020. While the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission acknowledged that it was aware of the accusations against the New Georgia Project, it said it could not move on to an investigation until after the midterms.