Supreme Court rejects Sen. Graham’s request to avoid grand jury testimony

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to spare him from testifying before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the election defeat of former president Donald Trump.

There were no noted dissents to the court’s order.
The Fulton County special grand jury investigating alleged 2020 presidential election interference by Trump and his allies has called for the senator to testify by Nov. 17. Jurors already have heard testimony from several Trump lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Boris Epshteyn. A judge has also ruled that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify.


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) wants to question Graham about calls he made to Georgia election officials soon after Trump lost the election to Joe Biden. Prosecutors say Graham has “unique knowledge” about the Trump campaign and the “multistate, coordinated efforts to influence the results” of the election in Georgia and elsewhere.






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Graham has said his actions were legitimate legislative activity protected by the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause.” The senator’s lawyers have said that they have been informed that Graham is a witness in — and not a target of — the probe.
His lawyer Donald F. McGahn told the Supreme Court that Graham is immunized by the Constitution and that without a stay, “Sen. Graham will suffer the precise injury he is appealing to prevent: being questioned in state court about his legislative activity and official acts.”

Last month, a district court judge said prosecutors could not question Graham about portions of his calls that were legislative fact-finding. But the judge said Willis’s team could explore coordination with the Trump campaign in its post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements regarding the 2020 election and any efforts to “cajole” or “exhort” Georgia election officials.






A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed that those actions “could not qualify as legislative activities under any understanding of Supreme Court precedent.” Two of the judges were nominated by Trump.
Willis had warned the Supreme Court that if Graham is allowed to avoid testimony entirely, the grand jury “will be foreclosed indefinitely from pursuing unique information, analyzing any resulting evidence, or using the Senator’s testimony to explore additional routes of valid inquiry.” It is scheduled to conclude its work by April.

 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
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Now we get to hear a sitting US Senator plead the 5th.
Did Graham commit a crime?

Sorry to disappoint you but even if he does plead the 5th, you won't get to hear it. Grand Jury proceedings are secret.

As I've said before, there was no legitimate reason Graham should have been calling any election official in Georgia.
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
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If he pleads the 5th, an investigation into his activities needs to opened immediately.
He's already part of the investigation. That's why he's being ordered to appear before the grand jury.
 

Aardvark86

HR All-American
Jan 23, 2018
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wouldnt that only apply to speech in the senate?
no, it can also be asserted in connection with the performance of legislative (nonpolitical) duties. now he tried to quash the subpoena in its entirety based on the clause and failed, but I assume he'd be free to assert the same objection in response to specific questions if appropriate. it would not surprise me if some questions along those lines were asked.
 
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lucas80

HR King
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Jan 30, 2008
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I’m shocked that the GQP has t put more effort into cancelling Fani Willis.
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
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...or, depending on the specific question, to plead the Article I, section 6, clause 1.
Maybe. Baby steps. Graham isn’t stupid. He was just so desperate to be relevant. So craven in his desire to be in the orbit of power he threw out all common sense and his legal training / experience.