A federal judge will not delay her ruling that Senator Lindsey Graham must appear before the Fulton County special grand jury, which investigates Republicans’ efforts to reverse the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
Graham had asked U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Thursday to suspend her previous decision not to quash Graham’s subpoena.
Graham has also filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, requesting that the subpoena be put on hold while his appeal is processed. The 11th Circuit Court has not yet complied with that request.
The subpoena demands that Graham appear before the grand jury on Tuesday.
Earlier Friday, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a court filing that Graham should appear next week to testify before the county special jury because he is “critical” to the investigation and “not just because he has necessary and material information.” , but also because he is expected to provide information on additional sources of relevant information.”
It went on to say that “delaying the senator’s testimony would not only delay his appearance; it would also delay the disclosure of an entire category of relevant witnesses or information.”
The filing was in response to Graham’s efforts to get a federal judge to stay a decision requiring him to appear before the special grand jury until he can appeal.
Graham has argued that he should not be forced to testify before the grand jury investigating attempts to undo the 2020 result in Georgia — in which Democrat Joe Biden narrowly won the state — because his actions around the election of the state were related to legislative activity as then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and must be protected under the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution.
In their response, Georgia prosecutors argued: “Given the possibility that Senator Graham’s testimony could reveal additional avenues of investigation, an arrest and the imposition of his appearance at this stage would ultimately resolve the entire investigation of the (Special Purpose Grand Jury) can delay. ”
“The public interest is served by allowing Senator Graham’s appearance to proceed so that the Special Purpose Grand Jury’s investigation can proceed efficiently,” Chief Prosecutor F. McDonald Wakeford wrote.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat who is leading the investigation into former President Donald Trump and his allies, has said in court files that Graham’s actions appear to be interrelated with Trump and that the senator’s grand jury should hear about at least two phone calls he made to Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger and his staff in the wake of the 2020 election.
On Monday, Atlanta-based federal judge Leigh Martin May rejected Graham’s motion to quash his subpoena. May, an Obama appointee, wrote in her decision to deny that there were “significant areas of research” that were not legislative in nature when the senator placed the two calls to Raffensperger’s office.
On Wednesday, Graham and his lawyers asked a separate federal judge to delay the verdict so that he does not have to appear before the grand jury on August 23. forced to appear before his appeal is finished.”
In response to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Friday, Wakeford wrote that Graham “should not be given the opportunity to extend that delay as he continues to make arguments that he is not being subpoenaed at all.”
“The District Attorney is asking this court to dismiss Senator Graham’s motion so that he can assist them in that great task for one day without further delay. The people have asked for Senator Graham’s testimony and are ready to receive it. All the senator has to do is meet them,” Wakeford added.