Lawyers for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on July 12 asked a federal judge to quash a subpoena for his testimony before a special grand jury in Georgia that’s investigating possible unlawful interference in the 2020 election.
The subpoena was issued by a Fulton County election inquiry on July 11, which is seeking evidence related to an alleged “coordinated effort” by former President Donald Trump and others to influence and overturn the results of the November 2020 election in the state of Georgia and elsewhere.
Six other individuals connected to Trump were also issued subpoenas this week.
Graham’s attorneys had previously indicated that they would challenge the subpoena for him to appear before the grand jury on July 12, stating that it would “erode the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a Member of Congress to do their job.”
In court papers (pdf) filed in South Carolina on Tuesday, the lawmakers’ attorneys stated that he did not attempt to interfere with the election results in Georgia.
“Senator Graham has never inserted himself into the electoral process in Georgia, and has never attempted to alter the outcome of any election,” the court papers state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, wrote in her subpoena petition that Graham had made at least two telephone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and members of his staff in the weeks following President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
“During the telephone calls, the witness 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,” the subpoena reads. “The witness 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.”
Graham’s lawyers claimed in Tuesday’s filing that the conversation “was about absentee ballots and Georgia’s procedures.”
They also claim that as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham was within his rights to discuss the processes and procedures around administering elections with state officials.
The attorneys also argue that “no extraordinary circumstances exist for compelling his testimony” and that the court should, therefore, “expedite briefing, and quash the state court proceedings seeking to compel his appearance.”
“What I’m trying to do is do my day job,” Graham said in a statement on Wednesday. “If we open up county prosecutors being able to call every member of the Senate based on some investigation they think is good for the country, we’re opening Pandora’s Box.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Willis’s office for comment.
‘A Necessary and Material Witness’
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney in the subpoena stated that Graham “is a necessary and material witness to the Special Purpose Grand Jury investigation” and that he “possesses unique knowledge concerning the substance of the telephone calls, the logistics of setting up the telephone calls, and any communications between himself, others involved in the planning and execution of the telephone calls, the Trump Campaign, and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
McBurney also added that Graham’s testimony would be “essential” because it would likely “reveal additional sources of information regarding the subject of this investigation.”
Willis also issued subpoenas to John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, and Jenna Ellis, who advised the Trump campaign in the aftermath of the 2020 election, and podcast host Jacki Pick Deason.
The Fulton County District Attorney also filed petitions compelling former New York Mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to appear before the special grand jury.
Jack Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.