lindsey graham must testify in georgia election investigation court rules scaled

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) must testify before a Georgia grand jury investigating Donald Trump and his campaign over their alleged efforts to upend the state’s 2020 election results.

Graham, an ally of Trump, had sought to block a subpoena demanding his appearance before the jury, which seeks to question him about conversations he had with Georgia election officials after President Joe Biden won the state’s electoral votes.

The South Carolina senator is under scrutiny in this investigation because Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who oversees elections in the state, says Graham called him in the aftermath of the 2020 election to ask if he could disqualify mail-in ballots in counties with signature errors. Though Raffensperger says it was clear Graham was suggesting he throw out ballots, Graham holds that he simply called him to ask how the process worked and to “protect the integrity of mail-in voting.”

The Washington Post was the first to report the news about Thursday’s ruling.

The ruling from the three-judge panel on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling that said Graham must appear, though there will be a limit on the range of questions he can be asked before the jury.

Graham’s legal team had argued that the U.S. Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause shields sitting senators from such investigations, but the court concluded Thursday that the argument is not applicable because Graham was not necessarily conducting legislative activity when he spoke with Georgia election officials. Graham “failed to demonstrate” otherwise, the judges ruled.

Graham’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.

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