Georgia Federal Judge Blocks Lindsey Graham’s Legal Maneuvering to Avoid Subpoena

The senator is scheduled to testify before a grand jury next week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham is seen during a Senate vote in the US Capitol. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Cal/AP

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Federal Judge Leigh Martin May from Georgia rejected a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham to delay his testimony before a grand jury investigating former President Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 elections in the state. Graham is scheduled to testify next week. “Under the circumstances, further delay of Senator Graham’s testimony would greatly compound the overall delay in carrying out the grand jury’s investigation,” the Obama-appointed judge wrote in a ruling. “Further delay thus poses a significant risk of overall hindrance to the grand jury’s investigation, and the Court therefore finds that granting a stay would almost certainly result in material injury to the grand jury and its investigation.” Sen. Graham’s legal team had appealed an earlier ruling by Judge May ordering him to testify and asked her to stay the order pending the appeal, but she found that granting the request would not serve the public interest. 

Last month, Fulton County issued subpoenas for Graham, Rudy Giuliani, and other Trump allies as part of a probe into what prosecutors have characterized as “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections.” The South Carolina GOP senator initially tried to quash the subpoena by arguing the District Attorney’s questioning focused on two phone calls he made to made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger following the November 2020 election, which constituted “legislative acts” as part of his work as senator and former chair of the Judiciary Committee.and were, therefore, protected under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. 

The blow to Sen. Graham’s legal maneuvering comes a few days after Giuliani gave a six-hour closed-door testimony at an Atlanta courthouse. “Grand juries, as I recall, are secret,” Trump’s former personal lawyer told reporters. “They ask the questions and we’ll see.” Giuliani’s lawyers had tried to postpone his testimony saying he had undergone a stent heart surgery that prevented him from flying.

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