Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) is challenging a subpoena from a Democratic prosecutor in Georgia who is leading a criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump’s alleged effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Graham denounced the subpoena as setting a dangerous precedent after a judge ordered him to testify, Fox News reported.
A judge in Democrat-controlled Fulton County called Graham a “necessary and material witness” in District Attorney Fani Willis’s probe.
Willis hasn’t formally accused Trump of wrongdoing, but she called a special grand jury to look for evidence of a criminal conspiracy by the 45th president to interfere in the state’s election results in 2020. The special grand jury also subpoenaed Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Graham had two conversations after the election with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump told to “find” votes equivalent to President Biden’s razor-thin victory.
A motion that Graham filed in federal court said the subpoena threatened to impede his official Constitutional duties. The filing says he “never tried to alter the outcome of any election” and that the August 2 deposition would force him to travel to Georgia in the middle of the Senate’s work.
Graham told Fox News, “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 Georgia investigation figures into a Democrat narrative that Trump led a criminal plot to overturn” a “free and fair” election that culminated in an “insurrection” at the Capitol.
Democrats have clamored for Trump, a former president who 73 million people voted for in 2020, to be thrown in prison as President Biden’s Justice Department, working with the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee, tightens the screws on Trump’s allies.
Steve Bannon, who was criminally charged for snubbing the committee, subpoenaed members of Congress but a federal judge in Washington D.C. dismissed the effort, saying that lawmakers have “absolute” immunity under the Speech and Debate clause.
Graham has invoked the Speech and Debate clause in his defense. He has denounced the subpoena as part of a political “fishing expedition” coordinated with the January 6th committee, which has, with questionable authority, targeted sitting Republican House lawmakers.
“This is all politics,” Graham said. “Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the Jan. 6 Committee in Washington. Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the Jan. 6 Committee.”