Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, SC) was unsuccessful in his attempt to block a federal court’s order requiring him to give grand jury testimony before the Fulton County criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to contest the 2020 election results.
Thursday’s appeals court panel rejected Graham’s request to temporarily halt compliance with a subpoena issued for the Fulton County inquiry. Graham appealed the decision of the federal court and requested that it be blocked while he appeals.
The unanimous decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday stated that Senator Graham had failed to show that he was likely to win on the merits of his appeal.
Graham cannot avoid appearing to testify, but he can make objections to some questions. The panel ruled. The panel emphasized that Graham could still be summoned to testify under the subpoena issued by the federal court in the past, but exempted questions regarding Graham’s decision-making process.
CNBC reports that Graham could ask the Supreme Court not to grant the subpoena.
Fulton County prosecutors led by District Attorney Fani Wilis are eager to find out more about Graham’s calls with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, in the weeks following the 2020 election. Graham’s lawyers challenged the subpoenaed testimony.
Graham claimed that Graham made the calls as part of his “legislative facts-finding mission” and that the Constitution’s debate clause protects him from subpoena requests. When participating in legislative duties, the debate clause protects legislators against certain law enforcement activities.
After audio between Trump and Raffensperger surfaced, Willis initiated the investigation. The former president also stressed the need for “finding” 11,780 voters to overthrow President Joe Biden’s win in Georgia. In May, a special grand jury was formed to investigate the matter.
CNN reported that the inquiry has received a number of high-profile testimony from former Senator Kelly Loeffler (R–GA) as well as former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.