Georgia grand jury subpoenas Sen. Lindsey Graham over calls

South Carolina Republican summoned to testify next week about his conversations with Georgia election officials over the 2020 election

The summons for Sen. Lindsey Graham, filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday, is one of more than half a dozen issued for allies of former President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The summons for Sen. Lindsey Graham, filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday, is one of more than half a dozen issued for allies of former President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted July 5, 2022 at 5:46pm

A grand jury in Georgia issued a subpoena Tuesday for Sen. Lindsey Graham to testify next week as part an investigation into potential criminal interference in the state’s 2020 elections, according to copies obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The special grand jury seeks testimony from the South Carolina Republican about at least two telephone calls he had with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Raffensperger’s staff, according to a certificate to secure an out-of-state witness.

Georgia officials allege that 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,” the certificate states.

The certificate also states Graham “possesses unique knowledge” of the substance of the calls, “the circumstances surrounding his decision to make the calls” and the logistics of setting up the calls. It also states Graham has knowledge about any coordination of the calls with the Trump campaign and “other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

A spokesman for Graham could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. Last year, a Graham spokesman told The Washington Post and other outlets that a grand jury investigation into the call with Raffensperger was “ridiculous.”

“Sen. Graham was asking about how the signature verification process worked,” spokesman Kevin Bishop said in February 2021. “He never asked the Secretary of State to disqualify a ballot cast by anyone.”

Others subpoenaed

The Graham summons, filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday, is one of more than half a dozen for Trump allies on which a Fulton County judge signed off. The documents were published by the Journal-Constitution, and the probe concerns Trump’s broader effort to overturn his electoral loss in Georgia.

Graham’s calls were separate from the Jan. 2 call in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the result in the state.

All told, the grand jury issued seven subpoenas Tuesday, including for attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis and Jacki Pick Deason. The subpoenas described each subject as “a necessary and material witness” to the investigation.

The subpoenas for Eastman and Giuliani mentioned testimony the pair provided before the Georgia State Senate in December 2020. The Eastman subpoena mentions testimony in which he said lawmakers there had a “lawful authority and ‘duty’” to replace Democratic electors.

The subpoena for Giuliani mentions the December testimony as well as later-debunked "evidence" of alleged fraud by election workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

“There is evidence that [Giuliani’s] appearance and testimony at the hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” the certification said.

Giuliani and Eastman have both been brought before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Testimony presented by that committee has pertained to Trump’s broader effort to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden between November 2020 and the attack almost two months later.

While the committee’s witnesses have referred to several members of Congress in its public hearings, the committee has not mentioned Graham.