Judge pumps the breaks on Lindsey Graham’s grand jury appearance in Georgia election probe: Trump ally scores temporary order blocking his testimony
- South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was due to testify Tuesday
- He was expected to appear before a grant jury in Fulton County, Georgia
- Prosecutors there are investigating whether Donald Trump and his allies improperly pressured state officials to overturn Georgia’s election results
- A federal appeals judge is letting Graham delay his testimony until a lower court decides whether the senator’s claimed Constitutional immunity holds up
- Rudy Giuliani testified in front of the same grand jury last week
Graham was due to testify under oath on Tuesday in the Fulton County District Attorney’s investigation into whether Donald Trump and his allies attempted to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.
The senator had previously attempted to leverage his elected office in a bid to block the grand jury’s July subpoena.
Graham argued that testifying would be ‘in contravention of his constitutional immunity.’
A court rejected that argument on Monday along with Graham’s lawyers’ claims that District Attorney Fani Willis was motivated by politics.
But on Sunday, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Graham’s favor, NBC News reports, and sent the decision back down to a lower court.
His testimony will now be put on hold until judge weighs whether Graham is protected under the ‘speech and debate’ clause of the US Constitution.
The provision allows lawmakers to avoid testifying about legislative work.
Lindsey Graham was due to testify before the Fulton County grand jury on Tuesday before a judge temporarily delayed it
The district attorney there is looking into Trump and his allies’ alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia
Graham’s testimony was first ordered for August 2 by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, according to WSB-TV.
McBurney had ruled in July that Graham was a ‘necessary and material witness’ to the investigation.
What kicked off the Fulton County probe was a now-infamous phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president pressed the GOP official to ‘find’ the number of votes needed for him to overcome President Joe Biden’s slim electoral victory there.
Raffensperger had recorded the call, to Trump’s apparent surprise at the time.
A court filing from last month reveals that Willis believes Graham made at least two phone calls to Raffensperger and his staff shortly after the 2020 presidential election.
Willis accused Graham of having ‘questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.’
District Attorney Fani Willis accused Giuliani of having ‘questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump’ on at least two occasions after the election
The senator also allegedly ‘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.’
Graham’s temporary reprieve comes after the Georgia grand jury heard from former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on his efforts promoting the ex-president’s election fraud theories.
Giuliani spent six hours in front of the grand jury last week, WSB-TV reports.
He did not discuss his testimony with the press before or after entering the Fulton County courthouse.
The former New York City mayor did share praise for Willis, however, in a Sunday radio interview just days after his testimony.
‘I was treated professionally by the district attorney’s office in Fulton County. The DA came out and shook hands with me at the end,’ Giuliani told John Catsimatidis of the Cats Roundtable radio show on WABC.
‘The forelady of the grand jury shook hands with me, and they thanked me for my service to the country, despite the fact that they had a question. It’s the first time anyone has been cordial in this investigation.’