Judge Orders Sen. Graham to Testify to Georgia Grand Jury in Election Probe

Judge Orders Sen. Graham to Testify to Georgia Grand Jury in Election Probe
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in Washington on June 22, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) must testify to a grand jury in Georgia investigating possible election-related crimes, a Georgia judge ruled on July 11.

Graham "is a necessary and material witness to the Special Purpose Grand Jury investigation," Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said in his ruling.

Graham made at least two phone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and members of Raffensperger's staff in the weeks following the 2020 presidential election, according to state officials. During the calls, Graham asked questions about reexamining mail-in ballots "in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump" and referenced allegations of widespread voter fraud, McBurney said.

Graham "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," the judge said. "Finally, the Witness's anticipated testimony is essential in that it is likely to reveal additional sources of information regarding the subject of this investigation."

A lawyer representing the senator did not respond to a request for comment, but Graham is likely to fight the ruling.

'Expects to Prevail'

Graham's attorneys said in a recent statement that the subpoena "would erode the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a Member of Congress to do their job," adding, "Senator Graham plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena, and expects to prevail."

Graham and six others linked to Trump, including his former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were subpoenaed on July 5 in the probe, which concerns efforts that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, has described as potential unlawful interference in the 2020 election.

Willis said in January that her office received information "indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia's administration of elections in 2020 ... was subject to possible criminal disruptions." She also said that a number of witnesses had refused to cooperate, including Raffensperger, absent a subpoena.

Willis requested a special grand jury, which was approved by a majority of Fulton County Superior Court judges.

Graham has denied wrongdoing. He said on CBS earlier this year that he spoke with Raffensperger "about how the system worked when it came to mail-in voting."

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