Court puts on hold Graham’s testimony in Ga. election probe

Aug 20, 2022, 8:24 PM | Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 10:33 am
United States Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., addresses business leaders during a congressional conver...

United States Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., addresses business leaders during a congressional conversation sponsored by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

(AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court on Sunday agreed to temporarily put on hold a lower court’s order requiring that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating possible illegal efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia.

A subpoena had instructed the South Carolina Republican to appear before the special grand jury on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May last Monday denied Graham’s request to quash his subpoena and on Friday rejected his effort to put her decision on hold while he appealed. Graham’s lawyers then appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Sunday, a three-judge panel of the appeals court issued the order temporarily pausing May’s order declining to quash the subpoena. The panel sent the case back to May to decide whether the subpoena should be partially quashed or modified because of protections granted to members of Congress by the U.S. Constitution.

Once May decides that issue, the case will return to the 11th Circuit for further consideration, according to the appeals court order.

Graham’s representatives did not immediately respond Sunday to messages seeking comment on the appellate ruling. A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis declined to comment.

Willis opened the investigation early last year, prompted by a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that conversation, Trump suggested Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state.

Willis and her team have said they want to ask Graham about two phone calls they say he made to Raffensperger and his staff shortly after the 2020 general election. During those calls, Graham asked about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis wrote in a petition seeking to compel his testimony.

Graham also “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,” she wrote.

Republican and Democratic state election officials across the country, courts and even Trump’s attorney general found there was no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to affect the outcome of the election.

During a hearing earlier this month on Graham’s motion to quash his subpoena, Willis’ team said Graham may be able to provide insight into the extent of any coordinated efforts to influence the results of the 2020 general election in Georgia.

The U.S. Constitution’s speech or debate clause protects members of Congress from questioning about official legislative acts. The 11th Circuit court instructed May to determine whether Graham “is entitled to a partial quashal or modification of the subpoena” as a result.

Graham’s attorneys have argued that the calls were made as part of his legislative duties and that provision gives him absolute protection from having to testify in this case.

In her order last week, May noted that the clause doesn’t protect actions that are political rather than legislative. Even if she accepted that the calls were “comprised entirely of legislative factfinding,” and thus protected, “there would still be significant areas of potential testimony related to the grand jury’s investigation on which Senator Graham could be questioned that would in no way fall within the Clause’s protections,” she wrote.

___

Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
19 hours ago
FILE - Sheriff's deputies recover the remains of a victim of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., Nov...
Associated Press

Ex-PG&E execs to pay $117M to settle lawsuit over wildfires

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former executives and directors of Pacific Gas & Electric have agreed to pay $117 million to settle a lawsuit over devastating 2017 and 2018 California wildfires sparked by the utility’s equipment, it was announced Thursday. The settlement was announced by the PG&E Fire Victim Trust, which was established to handle claims […]
19 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Veteran EMS worker fatally stabbed in random NYC attack

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime emergency medical worker with New York City’s fire department who was a first responder on Sept. 11 was killed in an apparently random stabbing in broad daylight, police said Thursday. The stabbing happened at approximately 2:15 p.m. in Queens, about a half-block from the station where FDNY EMS Lt. […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

California care home sued over resident’s poisoning death

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — The family of a woman who died after she was accidentally served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice at a San Francisco Bay Area care home sued the facility on Thursday. Trudy Maxwell, 93, was served an alkaline liquid “more toxic than Drano,” Niall McCarthy, an attorney for the family, said […]
19 hours ago
First responders with Orange County Fire Rescue use an inflatable boat to rescue a resident from a ...
Associated Press

Study finds that climate change added 10% to Ian’s rainfall

Climate change added at least 10% more rain to Hurricane Ian, a study prepared immediately after the storm shows. Thursday’s research, which is not peer-reviewed, compared peak rainfall rates during the real storm to about 20 different computer scenarios of a model with Hurricane Ian’s characteristics slamming into the Sunshine State in a world with […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Court puts on hold Graham’s testimony in Ga. election probe