Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., requested the Supreme Court docket on Friday to halt a subpoena compelling him to testify in a Georgia county prosecutor’s prison probe of potential interference within the 2020 election.
Graham’s request comes a day after a federal appeals court docket ordered him to testify within the grand jury investigation that has already ensnared Trump allies akin to Rudy Giuliani.
On Thursday, the eleventh Circuit U.S. Court docket of Appeals shot down his arguments that he did not must reply questions on two cellphone calls he made to Georgia election officers after the 2020 election as a result of his actions have been protected underneath the U.S. Structure’s speech and debate clause.
In a 33-page software despatched to Justice Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency requests from the eleventh Circuit, Graham’s attorneys on Friday requested for an instantaneous emergency keep.
“With out a keep, Senator Lindsey Graham will quickly be questioned by an area Georgia prosecutor and her advert hoc investigative physique about his protected ‘Speech or Debate’ associated to the 2020 election,” the submitting says.
It argues that the court docket must step in or else Graham’s “constitutional immunities might be misplaced, and his statutorily assured enchantment mooted, the second the native Georgia prosecutor questions him.”
Thomas can resolve the problem himself, or refer the matter to the total court docket.
The grand jury in Georgia was convened earlier this 12 months to help Fulton County District Lawyer Fani Willis’ investigation into potential 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others. It has already interviewed quite a few excessive profile Trump allies akin to Giuliani and Trump lawyer John Eastman, who each helped push his fraudulent election claims.
The grand jury needs to query Graham concerning the circumstances of two cellphone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his workplace after the election. Raffensperger, the highest elections official within the state, has mentioned Graham pressed him about whether or not he had the ability to reject sure absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to toss out legally solid votes. Graham has denied that was his intention, and mentioned the calls have been “investigatory” and a part of his duties as then-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judges at each the state and federal degree have discovered that Graham’s claims that he is immune from questioning concerning the calls are overbroad. The appeals court docket ruling Thursday agreed with a decrease court docket that decided Graham ought to be capable of reply some key questions from the grand jury, together with whether or not he consulted with Trump’s marketing campaign earlier than making the calls.
The eleventh Circuit mentioned the classes of questioning laid out by the decrease court docket “couldn’t qualify as legislative actions underneath any understanding of Supreme Court docket precedent,” and investigators may ask Graham about them.
Willis’ workplace declined to touch upon Graham’s request for the Supreme Court docket to intervene.