A federal judge Monday ordered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to testify before a Fulton County, Ga. grand jury that’s probing former President Donald Trump and his allies attempts to overturn election results, after Graham had argued his position as a senator should exempt him from appearing prior to the panel.
U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May said Monday there have been extraordinary circumstances and a particular dependence on Grahams testimony on alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgias 2020 elections, according to the ruling.
Grahams lawyers had argued a provision in the Constitution gave him absolute protection against being probed about legislative efforts, but a judge said the provision didn’t cover the grand jurys probe.
The judge also rejected Graham’s claims sovereign immunity protected him from having to testify by way of a state prosecutor.
A representative for Graham didn’t react to a obtain comment from Forbes.
The ruling employs a Georgia judge ordered Trumps former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to testify the following month prior to the same grand jury, following the former NY mayor have been attempting to rebel his testimony due to medical issues he said impeded him from traveling. Giuliani had also attemptedto challenge the Fulton County grand jury subpoena for him to testify, but lost the bid after failing woefully to arrive at a hearing concerning the challenge.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) launched the special grand jury investigation in February 2021 to research Trumps post-election conduct. The panel has subpoenaed a bunch of people near Trump, including Graham, Giuiliani, conservative legal scholar John Eastman, and Trump-allied lawyers Jenna Ellis, Cleta Mitchell and Kenneth Chesebro. Willis has said she’s questions in regards to a phone call that occurred between Graham and Georgias Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump pressured to find enough votes to overturn Bidens victory in hawaii. Raffensperger has said Graham asked about whether he previously the authority to reject absentee ballots, that your secretary of state concluded was an effort to get rid of legally cast ballots. Graham made at the very least two calls to Raffensperger and his team about absentee ballots, and referenced allegations of widespread voter fraud like those peddled by Trump and his team, Willis wrote in a July subpoena for Graham to testify prior to the panel. The Fulton County special grand jury could have a year to perform its probe, and it plans to issue a written report which could recommend criminal charges, though another grand jury would have to indict Trump or any others involved.
That is ridiculous. This weaponization of regulations must stop. THEREFORE I use the courts. We shall go so far as we have to go and do whatever must be done to be sure that people like me can perform their jobs without concern with some county prosecutor coming once you, Graham told reporters the other day about his efforts to fight the subpoena.
Judge: Sen. Graham must testify in Georgia election probe (Associated Press)