Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to fight Georgia subpoena

Attorneys say summons would erode the ‘ability of a Member of Congress to do their job’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. 
 (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 6, 2022 at 12:30pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham intends to fight a subpoena for his testimony in a Georgia investigation over potential criminal interference in the state’s 2020 election, according to a statement from his attorneys.

A special grand jury in Fulton County, Ga., wants the South Carolina Republican to testify about at least two December phone conversations he had with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Raffensperger’s staff following former President Donald Trump’s loss in 2020.

A pair of attorneys from law firm Nelson Mullins said they had spoken to investigators in Fulton County who consider Graham “neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness.”

The attorneys, Bart Daniel and Matt Austin, said Wednesday that “this is all politics” and called the investigation a “fishing expedition” that is working with the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“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,” the attorneys state. “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.”

Any statements Graham provided to investigators in Georgia would be provided to the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the attorneys said.

Some Republicans have criticized the bipartisan committee’s investigation into the assault, which disrupted the peaceful transfer of presidential power in the nation’s history, as a political attack on Trump.

The grand jury in Fulton County has been investigating potential interference with the state’s election after Trump lost in the state in 2020. The grand jury also issued subpoenas for a half-dozen Trump allies associated with his presidential campaign.

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,” according to a certificate to secure an out-of-state witness.

The certificate also said 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 said 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.”

Graham was one of seven individuals the grand jury issued subpoenas for on Tuesday, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis and Jacki Pick Deason.

Graham’s calls were separate from the Jan. 2, 2021, call in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the result in the state.