COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene after a lower court ordered him to testify before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state.
In a filing with the court, attorneys for the South Carolina Republican sought to halt Graham’s possible testimony while he continues to appeal the requirement to appear before the Fulton County special grand jury.
The filing was directed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency appeals from Georgia. Thomas can act on his own or refer the matter to the full court.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled Thursday in favor of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who wants to question Graham about phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the weeks after the election.
Raffensperger said Graham asked whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, something Raffensperger took as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes. Graham has dismissed that interpretation as “ridiculous.”
Graham had challenged his subpoena, saying his position as a U.S. senator protected him from having to testify in the state investigation. He has also denied wrongdoing. The judges on Thursday said Graham “has failed to demonstrate that this approach will violate his rights under the Speech and Debate Clause.”
Now, Graham wants the Supreme Court to halt his potential appearance while he challenges the requirement that he give testimony.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.