Judge rules Graham must comply with Georgia grand jury subpoena

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 08/15/2022 9:19 AM

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Judge rules Graham must comply with Georgia grand jury subpoena

A federal court in Atlanta rejected Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's attempt to quash a subpoena, ordering that he must appear before a Fulton County grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's efforts to invalidate Georgia's 2020 presidential election.


On Monday, a federal judge ruled that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) must comply with a special grand jury subpoena that the Fulton County district attorney issued. The subpoena is part of an investigation into former President Trump's efforts to pressure Georgia officials into overturning the state's election results for the year 2020. Graham was ordered to comply with the subpoena by the federal judge.

Graham's claims that he is entitled to testimonial immunity from state court proceedings as a result of his position as a federal congressman were rejected by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May, who dismissed Graham's move to comply with the subpoena.

May ruled, in a decision that was 22 pages long, that the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, which protects members of Congress from being compelled to testify in court about their legislative work, does not justify quashing the subpoena as Graham had requested. The Speech or Debate Clause protects members of Congress from being compelled to testify in court about their legislative work.

May, who was chosen to her position by former President Obama, noted in her opinion that "in conclusion, the Court concludes that there are vast areas of prospective grand jury investigation falling beyond the safeguards of the Speech or Debate Clause."

"In addition, Senator Graham is not protected from testifying before the Special Purpose Grand Jury because he has sovereign immunity. In conclusion, even though Senator Graham claims he is exempt from testifying as a high-ranking government official, the court has determined that the District Attorney has demonstrated extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham's testimony on issues that are related to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia's 2022 elections.

During a news conference the week before, Senator Graham said that he would file an appeal, and his spokesperson confirmed Monday that he would follow through with that promise.

Graham referred to the situation as "stupid." "It is time to put an end to this use of the law as a weapon. Therefore, I shall go before the courts. We will go as far as we need to go and do whatever has to be done to ensure that folks like me can do our jobs without worrying about some county prosecutor coming after you.

Graham was served with a subpoena in July by the Democratic District Attorney of Fulton County, Fani Willis, who is investigating a plot to alter the results of the presidential election that will take place in 2020. The office of Representative Willis detailed a series of phone discussions that South Carolina Senator Tim Scott had with two officials from Georgia in the weeks after Election Day.

Graham filed a motion in federal court to quash the subpoena. Graham argued that the calls were made as part of his duties as the then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and were therefore protected by the constitutional shield against being compelled to testify about the discussions because they were made during his duties. He has also refuted allegations that he put any pressure on a state official about the election outcome.

In a document filed with the court a month ago, his attorneys wrote that the "Speech or Debate Clause was designed to prevent exactly the sort of examination she proposes." "The District Attorney's apparent suspicions are baseless," the lawyers wrote, "but even assuming otherwise, the Speech or Debate Clause was designed to prevent exactly the sort of examination she proposes."

In response to this, Willis's office referenced public remarks made by the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, which suggested that the calls were more than just ordinary oversight queries regarding the state's voting operations.

"During our talk, he asked whether votes could be matched back to the envelope — the absentee ballots could be linked back to the envelope," Raffensperger said in an interview with CBS News in 2020. "During our discussion, he asked if ballots could be matched back to the envelope." "I described our method, and after it had gone through two sets of signature matches, they were separated at that point," I said. However, after that, Senator Graham suggested that we audit the envelopes and discard the votes for counties with the greatest incidence of incorrect signatures. I made an effort to assist clarify that since we completed signature matching, you would no longer be able to link the signatures to those votes even if you tried.

May made the decision on Monday, based on the evidence shown to her, she could not completely trust Graham's characterization of the conversations to determine whether or not it should be concealed from the grand jury investigation. Even if the calls were deemed to be within the bounds of constitutional protection, the court said that Graham would still be a legitimate person of interest in the inquiry.

"The fact that Senator Graham may be questioned on topics outside the two phone calls—including

(1) His potential communications and coordination with the Trump Campaign and its post-election efforts in Georgia;

(2) His knowledge of other groups or individuals involved with efforts to influence the results of Georgia's 2020 election;  

(3) His public statements following Georgia's 2020 election—are of great significance to the issue presently before the Court," May wrote in her letter to the court. "The issue presently before the Court is whether or not there was any communication or coordination.


                       Federal judge rules that Graham must testify in Georgia 2020 investigation




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