After months of legal battles, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is set to testify before the Fulton County grand jury investigating possible illegal interference in the 2020 election by then-President Donald Trump and his allies.
Graham has made multiple attempts to quash the subpoena ordering him to testify. Still, earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for his testimony by lifting their temporary hold on his appearance.
The South Carolina senator, a top Trump ally, had argued that a provision of the Constitution, the speech and debate clause, shields him from being forced to testify.
The court ruled that Graham had to testify but that he did not have to discuss matters related to legislative activity.
Graham, a four-term senator who last won reelection in 2020, was first subpoenaed in July by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wilis. The district attorney opened her investigation shortly after a recording of a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was made public. In that call, Trump suggested Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Willis wants to question the senator about two phone calls he made to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff in the weeks after the 2020 election.
During those calls, Graham asked about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis wrote in a petition seeking to compel his testimony.
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,” she wrote. She said in a hearing last month that Graham may be able to provide insight into the extent of any coordinated efforts to influence the results.
Raffensperger said he took Graham’s question about absentee ballots as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes. Graham has dismissed that interpretation as “ridiculous.” Graham has also argued that the call was protected because he asked questions to inform his decisions on voting to certify the 2020 election and future legislation.
Both Raffensperger and his Chief Operating Officer, Gabe Sterling, testified before the grand jury earlier this year. Others who have already made their appearances before the special grand jury, including former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani — who’s been told he could face criminal charges in the probe — attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, and former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.