Judge denies Graham request to delay Georgia grand jury testimony
A federal judge on Friday rejected a motion from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to delay his testimony before a Georgia grand jury probing former President Trump’s attempts to disrupt the state’s electoral procedures in the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled that Graham should not be granted a stay from the special grand jury subpoena he received from the Fulton County district attorney.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has been investigating Trump’s efforts to pressure Georgia officials to overturn President Biden’s victory in the state in 2020.
Graham was originally subpoenaed last month. Willis’s office is interested in phone conversations that the senator had with election officials after Election Day.
May ruled that a stay was not justified based on the weight of factors considered. She said that the public interest leans toward denying the stay, and that granting it would further delay the grand jury’s investigation, which would cause material injury to the inquiry.
The ruling states that Graham’s arguments that he is likely to succeed in quashing the subpoena are unpersuasive.
Graham has argued that the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which shields members of Congress from being called to testify in court about their legislative work, should stop the subpoena.
But May rejected that argument on Monday, saying he does not have testimonial immunity from the proceedings. She said there are “considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry” that fall outside the clause’s protections.
Graham had vowed to appeal the ruling after its release.
May said in the Friday ruling that Graham would suffer irreparable harm if the merits of his argument against the subpoena are correct, but a stay is “not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result.”