A federal judge on Monday rejected South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bid to dismiss a subpoena requiring him to testify before a Georgia grand jury, Politico reports.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office has spent months investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to stoke baseless conspiracy theories in an attempt to overturn the election in the state.
One of those allies was Graham, who pushed discredited allegations of fraud on a call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Graham received a subpoena in the probe earlier this month but tried to fight the move in court.
“[T]he Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections,” U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May wrote in a 22-page opinion.
“Senator Graham has unique personal knowledge about the substance and circumstances of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, as well as the logistics of setting them up and his actions afterward,” May wrote. “And though other Georgia election officials were allegedly present on these calls and have made public statements about the substance of those conversations, Senator Graham has largely (and indeed publicly) disputed their characterizations of the nature of the calls and what was said and implied. Accordingly, Senator Graham’s potential testimony on these issues … are unique to Senator Graham.”
Graham plans to appeal:
“Although the district court acknowledged that Speech or Debate may protect some of Senator Graham’s activities, she nevertheless ignored the constitutional text and binding Supreme Court precedent, so Senator Graham plans to appeal to the 11th Circuit,” Graham’s office said in a statement.
Graham has argued that the subpoena violates Constitutional protections for lawmakers from being subject to questioning related to their official duties. May said that Graham’s efforts in Georgia fell outside of his legislative responsibilities.