NEW YORK — Lawyers representing Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Wednesday he intended to challenge a subpoena requiring him to testify before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating the actions of former President Donald Trump. and its allies after the 2020 elections.
Graham was one of a handful of Trump confidants and attorneys named Tuesday in motions filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of her investigation into what she claims is “a coordinated multi- states by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.
Graham’s attorneys, Bart Daniel and Matt Austin, said in a statement Wednesday that the Republican senator “plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena and expects to prevail,” and they called the politically motivated investigation.
“It’s all politics. Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and is working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington,” they wrote, adding that “As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham was quite in his right to discuss processes with state officials. and procedures relating to the administration of elections.
“If upheld, the subpoena issued today would erode the constitutional checks and balances and the ability of a member of Congress to do their job,” they continued. They also said they were told by Fulton County investigators that Graham “is not a subject or target of the investigation.”
“If witnesses choose to challenge an order requiring them to testify before the grand jury for a special purpose, the district attorney will respond in the appropriate court to compel their attendance,” the county attorney’s office spokesperson said. Fulton, Jeff DiSantis, in an email.
In the petition submitted Tuesday, Willis wrote that Graham, a longtime Trump ally, made at least two phone calls to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and members of his staff in the weeks following the November 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost to Democrat Joe. Biden. During those calls, Graham asked about re-examining some absentee ballots “to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” she wrote.
Willis has also filed motions to compel cooperation from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a key lawyer for Trump during failed efforts to overturn the election result, as well as lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and Jacki Pick Deason.
Giuliani was recovering on Tuesday after undergoing surgery to have two heart stents placed, his son, Andrew Giuliani said, replacing him as co-host of “The Rudy Giuliani Show” radio show.
Because she’s trying to compel testimony from people who live outside of Georgia, Willis has had to submit motions for a judge’s approval. The judge overseeing the special grand jury signed his motions.
The next step is to deliver the documents to a prosecutor wherever each potential witness lives so that they can be presented to a local judge for a hearing. If that judge determines that the person is an “important and necessary witness” and that traveling to Atlanta to testify would not place an undue burden on the potential witness, the judge would issue a subpoena to compel the person to testify before the grand special Someone who fails to comply with a subpoena may be held in contempt.
Associated Press writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed reporting.