With all corporate media eyes on the Jan. 6 committee spectacle, little attention has been offered to certain minor league iterations happening across the country. That changed Monday when a Georgia judge ordered Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to appear as “a necessary and material witness.”
Last week, a Fulton County grand jury subpoenaed Graham along with six other individuals linked to former President Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election. After challenging the subpoena, the senator has since been given a direct order from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney to testify on Aug. 2 according to WSB-TV.
The judge contended that alleged phone calls between Graham and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger following the election were central to the investigation and the “court finds that Lindsey Graham is a necessary and material witness.”
As McBurney put it, he seeks information on an alleged request from the senator to Raffensperger to reexamine “certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
Graham’s attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin released a statement to counter any suspicion against the senator emphasizing he “is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness,” as they challenged the authority of the subpoena Wednesday.
JUST IN: Attorneys for @LindseyGrahamSC say he will challenge the subpoena he was issued by the Fulton County, GA grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election. Story coming soon. pic.twitter.com/cTKQAtxiOR
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 6, 2022
They further decried the grand jury as playing politics and wrote, “Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington. Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee.”
It was stipulated that “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,” they added.
As previously reported, even Raffensperger had hedged on initial claims that Graham had made any untoward requests. In November 2020 he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “Well, it’s just an implication of look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out. I think they’re looking at that as part of a court case and one was subsequently filed, wasn’t it?”
When pressed on claim Sen. Graham sought to throw out legal ballots, Georgia’s sec of state fails to deliver https://t.co/ByafMn2ZvD
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 17, 2020
Graham had denied any claim of pressuring Raffensperger and stated at the time, “What I’m trying to find out was how do you verify signatures for mail-in ballots in these states. I thought it was a good conversation. I’m surprised to hear him characterize it that way.”
Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis defended the autonomy of the grand jury investigation and said, “My inquiry and the Jan. 6 inquiry are not one and the same,” and she further stated, “It is my hope that Sen. Graham will have a moment of quiet reflection and decide to bring truthful testimony before this grand jury that wants to hear from him on some very important issues.”
In addition to Graham, the grand jury subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Kenneth Cheseboro, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis and Jacki Deason. The senator’s challenge to the subpoena will be heard in Washington, D.C. courts to determine whether Graham will be required to testify in August.
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