The attempt by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to get out of testifying in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether there was criminal interference in the 2020 election was denied by a judge on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May rejected the senior lawmaker’s argument that he should be protected from testifying because of sovereign immunity, his position as a high-ranking government official, and constitutional protections granted by the speech and debate clause of our nation’s governing document, reports The Washington Post.
“The Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections,” the judge wrote.
As a key battleground state, Georgia has been central to Trump’s and his allies’ efforts to subvert the will of voters and to steal Biden’s votes.
In a now infamous phone call, then-President Donald Trump tried to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” him 11,780 votes – just one more vote than Biden to secure Trump’s win in the state. Raffensperger refused, and the recording of the phone call was turned over to investigators.
Graham is a part of what the Fulton County DA calls “a multistate, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Raffensperger claims the South Carolina senator contacted him by phone multiple times to pressure him to “toss” out legally cast absentee ballots to sway the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
A special grand jury was empowered earlier in the year and began hearing testimony in June. Raffensperger and the members of his staff have cooperated with both District Attorney Willis’ probe and that of the Jan. 6. House Select Committee – testifying before both.
Attorneys for Graham haven’t denied that the calls were made, but insist that the Senator wasn’t trying to overturn the election results, but only inquiring about Georgia election procedure.
For now, it seems there is no way out for the Trump ally and apologist – and testimony is imminent. Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has also been subpoenaed by the Fulton County District Attorney, and both a New York and a Georgia judge have ordered Giuliani to testify.
Original reporting by Eugene Scott at The Washington Post.
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