The Supreme Court Denied Lindsey Graham’s Petition To Quash A Subpoena From A Georgia Grand Jury

The Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was subpoenaed to testify before an Atlanta special grand jury looking into attempts to rig Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, but the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene. The testimony is currently set for November 17, but the South Carolina senator had submitted an emergency request asking the justices to postpone it while legal concerns are resolved.

Graham will now be required to provide testimony, but he will have the option to object to specific inquiries as they are made, which might limit the breadth of his testimony or reply.

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The justices agreed with the lower courts in the unsigned judgement, stating that Graham could not be compelled to speak directly about matters pertaining to his legislative position. The court added that if disagreements arose over specific points, the senator’s attorneys could still raise objections on a case-by-case basis.

Accordingly, “a stay or injunction is not necessary to guarantee the Senator’s speech or debate clause immunity,” the Supreme Court declared.

Graham may have a lot of opportunity to contest the grand jury’s inquiries or demands as a result.

Graham contended that the Speech or Debate clause of the Constitution, which shields lawmakers from some criminal or civil procedures related to their legislative duties, should be invoked to prevent him from being forced to comply with the subpoena.

Critics believed that if Graham were to win at the Supreme Court, it would give other members of Congress the confidence to assert like grounds in an effort to avoid appearing. Members of Congress “shall not be questioned in any other place” “for any Speech or Debate in either house,” according to the clause.

Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, has said she wants to question Graham about calls he made to Georgia election officials following the 2020 election. The senator’s attorneys have described the calls as “investigatory phone calls” made in support of an authorised legislative action intended to update him on his impending certification decision.

Sen. Graham’s argument that the Fulton County District Attorney cannot ask him about interfering with the 2020 election is rejected by this decision, according to Joshua Matz, an attorney who wrote an amicus brief on behalf of former federal prosecutors opposing Graham’s position. Even while the court ruled that Graham could not be questioned about congressional activity, Matz pointed out that he might still face other challenges.

He added that while the ruling permits Graham to go back to federal court to make additional objections, “many of his expected arguments have already been found to be without merit by four federal judges, including the district judge assigned to his case.”

The district attorney for Fulton County’s spokeswoman declined to comment. The Supreme Court’s decision was described as a victory by Graham’s office.

The Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution is applicable in this situation, the Supreme Court said today, according to a statement from his representative. Additionally, they stated that Senator Graham “may return to the District Court” if the District Attorney seeks to compel him to answer any questions regarding his constitutionally protected activities. The legal team for the senator plans to consult with the district attorney’s office on the following procedures to guarantee that this constitutional immunity is respected.

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The testimony was momentarily stopped last week by Justice Clarence Thomas, who is in charge of the lower courts involved in the issue. Thomas’ action was an administrative stay that was probably issued to give the justices of the Supreme Court additional time to think about the controversy.

Willis contended that participants in the calls had publicly said that they understood Graham to have been recommending or hinting that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger should annul some votes or take actions that would change the outcome of the state’s election.

Willis is leading a special grand jury inquiry investigating attempts by Trump allies to rig Georgia’s 2020 presidential election. According to CNN last month, her investigation recently obtained the grand jury evidence of former US Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

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