Sen. Lindsay Graham (Republican-South Carolina) speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Aug. 5, 2022.
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A federal appeals court on Sunday will testify to Sen. Lindsay Graham before a special grand jury investigating an illegal attempt to overturn then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 Georgia election loss. I have agreed to temporarily stay a lower court order requesting that
The subpoena directed South Carolina Republicans to appear before a special grand jury on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Lee Martin May denied Graham’s request to vacate the subpoena last Monday, rejecting his efforts to suspend Graham’s decision while he appeals on Friday. Graham’s attorneys then appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Sunday, a three-judge panel in the Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily staying May’s order refusing to quash the subpoena. A panel he remanded in May to decide whether to partially vacate or amend the subpoena due to the protections afforded to Congress by the U.S. Constitution.
Once May decides on the matter, the case will be returned to the 11th Circuit for further consideration, according to an appeals court order.
A representative for Graham did not immediately respond to a message on Sunday seeking comment on the appeal ruling. A spokeswoman for Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis declined to comment.
Willis launched the investigation early last year, prompted by a January 2, 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that conversation, Trump suggested that Ravensperger could “find” the votes he needed to reverse his small losses in the state.
Willis and her team want to ask Graham about the two calls he made to Raffensperger and his staff shortly after the 2020 general election. During those calls, Graham asked about “reviewing certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia for the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis said. wrote in a petition seeking to compel his testimony.
Graham also “referenced widespread allegations of voter fraud in the November 2020 Georgia elections, which are consistent with public statements made by known officials in the Trump campaign,” she said. writing.
Republican and Democratic state election officials across the country, courts, and even Trump’s attorney general have determined that there is not enough evidence of voter fraud to affect the outcome of the election.
Graham may be able to offer insight into the extent of coordinated efforts to influence the outcome of the 2020 Georgia general election, Willis’ team said at a public hearing earlier this month on a motion to reverse Graham’s subpoena. said at the meeting.
The US Constitution’s speech-or-debate clause prevents members of Congress from questioning official legislative action. The 11th Circuit consequently directed May to determine whether Graham was “entitled to partial waiver or modification of the subpoena.”
Graham’s attorneys have argued that the call was made as part of his legislative obligations, and that provision would fully protect him from having to testify in this case.
May said in last week’s order that the provision would protect less political action than legislation. Even if she admitted that the call “consisted entirely of a legislative fact-finding” and was therefore protected, “there is no doubt that Senator Graham may be questioned in connection with the grand jury inquiry.” There are still significant areas of possible testimony that will never fall within the scope of the protection clause,” she wrote.