Federal judge: Lindsey Graham must appear before grand jury in Georgia election investigation

A federal judge has ruled that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will have to testify before a special grand jury that is looking into whether former President Donald Trump and others violated any laws during Trump’s efforts to reverse the state’s outcome in the 2020 presidential election.

The Republican senator from South Carolina had fought a subpoena from Fulton County prosecutors, with his attorneys claiming that as a senator he has immunity regarding being questioned over legislative acts.

In a Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May said there are “considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry” that fall outside that protection, and that senators do not enjoy sovereign immunity from being called by state prosecutors.

The grand jury first started hearing witnesses in June, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Graham is one of seven associates or advisers of Trump Fultcon County District Attorney Fani Willis has been trying to compel to testify.

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The DA’s office argued that Graham’s testimony could provide key information about whether there were coordinated efforts to affect Georgia’s election results. Willis said in a court filing that Graham is a “necessary and material witness.”

Specifically, Willis said she wanted to know more about two phone calls Graham had with Raffensperger and his staff in the days and weeks after the election.

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“During the telephone calls, the Witness questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis said, adding that Graham “made reference to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia, consistent with public statements made by known affiliates of the Trump Campaign.”

Trump himself came under fire for a phone call he had with Raffensperger for saying that he wanted the secretary to “find” 12,000 votes so he could win the state. The full context of the request was that Trump insisted that there “at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures,” and that he just needed the state to find enough to make up for the 11,779 votes by which he trailed Joe Biden.

An investigation of the hand recount in Fulton County found that while there were some mistakes in the process, it was not enough to affect the outcome of the election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Source: Politics

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