Sen. Lindsey Graham responds to Georgia subpoena to testify in Trump post-election probe

·3 min read

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday repeated his claim to be immune from testifying as a witness in a Georgia grand jury probe of 2020 election interference in Georgia by the Trump campaign.

In a court filing, the South Carolina Republican's lawyers said Graham was issued a subpoena July 26 ordering him to appear to testify on Aug. 23, the AP reported Monday.

Graham is seeking to have the challenge heard in federal court in Atlanta rather than before the Fulton County Superior Court judge who's overseeing the special grand jury, the AP reported.

"Senator Graham has challenged the subpoena to protect the Senate's interest and in defense of our Constitution," according to a statement provided to the Herald-Journal by Graham's press office Monday. "The speech or debate clause prevents a local elected official from questioning a senator about how that senator did his job."

According to the statement, in making two phone calls after the election, Graham "was engaged in quintessentially legislative factfinding – both to help him form election-related legislation, including his role as then-chair of the judiciary committee, and to help inform his vote to certify the election.

"Following his investigation, Senator Graham both voted to certify Joe Biden as 'the legitimate president of the United States' and co-sponsored a bill to amend the Electoral Count Act to correct flaws uncovered during his legislative factfinding."

Graham has repeatedly said he would fight the subpoena and has argued that as a U.S. senator he has "sovereign immunity" from state court procedures pertaining to his job as a U.S. senator, as well as constitutional protection because "the testimony sought relates to matters within the legislative sphere."

Graham to fight subpoena: Spokesman: Lindsey Graham will fight subpoena in Trump case as it moves to Georgia court

As expected, U.S.. Sen. Lindsey Graham is challenging a subpoena to testify in a grand jury's probe of 2020 election interference in Georgia by the Trump campaign, according to the Associated Press.
As expected, U.S.. Sen. Lindsey Graham is challenging a subpoena to testify in a grand jury's probe of 2020 election interference in Georgia by the Trump campaign, according to the Associated Press.

Two weeks ago, attorneys for Graham and Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis reached an agreement to move his challenge to Georgia from U.S. District Court in Charleston.

"Senator Graham has agreed to accept service of a subpoena for testimony from the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury in Atlanta, Georgia, without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity," the agreement states.

Willis wrote in her petition to subpoena Graham that he placed at least two phone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the weeks following the 2020 election seeking reexamination of absentee ballots to "explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump"

After their call, Raffensperger told the Washington Post that Graham had asked him whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, a question the official said he interpreted as Graham's suggestion to toss out legally cast votes, the Associated Press reported.

Graham at the time called the claim "ridiculous."

Willis also filed petitions to compel cooperation from other former officials, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was one of Trump's primary lawyers during the failed efforts to overturn the election result.

Contact Bob Montgomery at bob.montgomery@shj.com. Please support our coverage of Spartanburg County with a digital subscription.

This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Lindsey Graham challenges subpoena in Trump election probe