Sen. Lindsey Graham says he'll challenge subpoena in Georgia Trump probe
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • one month ago • 18 comments
By: Dareh Gregorian and Julie Tsirkin (NBC News)
Link copied July 6, 2022, 3:19 PM UTC / Updated July 6, 2022, 4:32 PM UTC By Dareh Gregorian and Julie Tsirkin
Lawyers for Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday they'll challenge a subpoena demanding that he testify before a special grand jury in Georgia hearing evidence in a probe into possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others.
In a statement, Graham's attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin said the subpoena for their client's testimony from the grand jury hearing evidence in the Fulton County district attorney's investigation is "all politics."
"Senator Graham plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena, and expects to prevail," the statement said.
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Graham was one of a number of Trump allies subpoenaed by the special grand jury on Tuesday. The grand jury was impaneled earlier this year to assist District Attorney Fani Willis' investigation into whether there were any "coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections" in Georgia.
Willis dismissed Graham lawyers' allegation that her investigation was motivated by politics, telling NBC News on Wednesday that he "doesn't understand the seriousness of what we're doing." She also said the public should expect additional subpoenas of Trump associates and indicated she would not rule out subpoenaing the former president himself.
Among the incidents Willis has said she's investigating is a post-election phone call Graham made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in November of 2020. Raffensperger has said Graham pressed him about whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes.
The subpoena said Graham "made at least two telephone calls" to Raffensperger and his staff. "During the telephone calls, [Graham] 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. [Graham] 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," the subpoena said.
Graham has denied pressuring Raffensperger — who testified under subpoena before the 23-person grand jury last month — and called the allegation "ridiculous."
In their statement, Graham's lawyers said investigators from Willis's office told them their client "is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness."
They also accused the DA of working hand-in-hand with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
" Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the January 6 Committee," the statement said. "Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee."
They also maintained their client didn't do anything wrong in his phone calls.
"As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham was well within his rights to discuss with state officials the processes and procedures around administering elections. Should it stand, the subpoena issued today would erode the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a Member of Congress to do their job," the statement said.
Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.
Julie Tsirkin is a producer and reporter for NBC News' Capitol Hill team.
Blayne Alexander contributed.