sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., asked the Supreme Court Friday to drop a subpoena that forced him to testify in a criminal investigation by a Georgia prosecutor into possible interference in the 2020 election.
Graham’s request comes a day after a federal appeals court ordered him to testify in the grand jury investigation that has already ensnared Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani.
On Thursday, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals shot down its arguments that he didn’t have to answer questions about two phone calls he made to Georgia election officials after the 2020 election because his actions were protected by the U.S. speech and debate clause. constitution .
In a 33-page filing sent to Judge Clarence Thomas, who handles the 11th Circuit’s emergency requests, Graham’s lawyers asked Friday for an immediate postponement of the state of emergency.
“Without a stay, Senator Lindsey Graham will soon be questioned by a local prosecutor in Georgia and her ad hoc investigative body about his protected ‘speech or debate’ regarding the 2020 election,” the filing said.
It argues that the court must intervene or Graham’s “constitutional immunities will be lost and his legally guaranteed appeal will be challenged as the local Georgia state attorney interrogates him.”
Thomas can decide the case himself, or submit the case to the full court.
The Georgia grand jury was convened earlier this year to assist Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in investigating possible interference in the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump and others. It has already interviewed a number of prominent Trump allies, such as Giuliani and Trump attorney John Eastman, who both helped put forward his fraudulent election claims.
The grand jury wants to question Graham about the circumstances of two phone calls he made with Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger and his office after the election. Raffensperger, the highest-ranking election official in the state, has said Graham pressured him over whether he had the power to refuse certain absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to discard legally cast votes. Graham has denied that this was his intention, saying the calls were “investigative” and part of his duties as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.
Judges at both the state and federal levels have found Graham’s claims that he is immune to questions about the appeals are too broad. The appeals court ruling on Thursday agreed with a lower court that Graham should be able to answer certain key questions from the grand jury, including whether he consulted Trump’s campaign before making the calls.
The 11th Circuit said the categories of questioning established by the lower court “cannot qualify as legislative activity under any understanding of the Supreme Court’s precedent,” and investigators could ask Graham about them.
Willis’s office declined to comment on Graham’s request for the Supreme Court to intervene.