'Direct personal knowledge': Federal judge denies Lindsey Graham’s request to quash subpoena

'Direct personal knowledge': Federal judge denies Lindsey Graham’s request to quash subpoena
Lindsay Graham/Screengrab
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A federal judge in Georgia Monday morning denied U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham‘s motion to quash a subpoena from the Fulton County special purpose grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Politico’s Kyle Cheney was first to report the development.

“Senator Graham has direct personal knowledge of conversations with Georgia election officials which have been the subject of public dispute as to the nature of his inquiries and requests, including any implicit or overt suggestions to discard ballots or otherwise alter the election results,” U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May writes.

Quoting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Judge May notes that “the District Attorney described Senator Graham as a ‘necessary and material witness in [the Special Purpose Grand Jury] investigation’ not only because of his personal knowledge of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, but also because he possesses ‘unique knowledge’ concerning ‘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.'”

READ MORE: Georgia DA Says ‘Possible’ Trump Could Be Subpoenaed, Lindsey Graham ‘Doesn’t Understand Seriousness’ of Investigation

Graham will have to prove his case if he wants to avoid testifying. As Judge May’s explanation of the arguments in the case suggests, that may prove challenging.

Judge May says in her ruling that “the Court finds that there are considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry falling outside the Speech or Debate Clause’s protections.”

“Additionally, sovereign immunity fails to shield Senator Graham from testifying before the Special Purpose Grand Jury. Finally, though Senator Graham argues that he is exempt from testifying as a high-ranking government official, the Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections.”

Because Sen. Graham asked for the subpoena to effectively be tossed out, the judge did not dive further into the merits, instead ordering the case be sent back to the Superior Court of Fulton County.

READ MORE: Lindsey Graham Again Consults With Trump’s Attorneys – in the Middle of the Trial: ‘They Actually Pulled Him Off Floor’

He will have to either testify or convince the court he is somehow immune from doing so.

As the judge wrote, those issues Graham will have to address include his claim “that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution completely shields his testimony,” “that the doctrine of sovereign immunity protects him from testifying,” and “that the subpoena should be quashed because he is a high-ranking government official.”

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