Graham asks Supreme Court for arbitration after presidential verdict

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA (AP) — U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham spoke at a special Georgia grand jury on Friday investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others attempted to illegally influence the 2020 elections in Georgia. After a lower court ordered him to testify, he asked the US Supreme Court to intervene. Graham, Trump’s greatest ally, tried to stop her own testimony while continuing to appeal her order to appear before her Fulton County special grand jury. Institutional interests of the Senate.” Graham’s office said the lower court’s ruling would “significantly affect a senator’s ability to gather information related to the performance of his/her duties.” Some have already appeared before the special grand jury, including former New York Mayor John Eastman and Kenneth Chesbro, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former White House adviser Pat Sipolone. Documents were received seeking testimony from others, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched an investigation shortly after recordings of a January 2021 call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger were released. In that call, Trump offered to “find” the votes needed to overturn Rappensperger’s narrow loss to Democrat Joe Biden, and Willis told Graham to give Rappensperger and his staff one or two in the weeks following the election. I wanted to ask a question about Tong’s phone. During the call, Graham “inquired about the review of certain absentee ballots held in Georgia to investigate the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis wrote in a petition to compel his testimony. He wrote, “The widespread allegations of voter fraud in the November 2020 Georgia elections are consistent with public statements issued by known affiliates of the Trump campaign.” She said at a hearing last month that Graham could provide insight into the scope of coordinated efforts to influence the outcome. Rappensperger said he took Graham’s question about the absentee ballot as a proposal to invalidate the legal ballot. Graham dismissed the interpretation as “stupid.” Graham also claimed that the phone was protected because he asked questions to inform decisions about the 2020 elections and voting to certify future legislation. Graham then appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a panel of three judges sided with Willis on Thursday. Graham may appeal to full court. Graham’s attorney argued that the constitution’s speech or debate clauses that protected members of Congress from answering questions about legislative activity did not require him to testify. Graham is represented by former White House adviser Don McGahn, who has been involved in a long court battle over a congressional subpoena for his testimony related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. After years of back-and-forth back and forth, both sides reached an agreement, and McGahn answered the investigator’s questions in a private session. Graham’s Friday filings went to Judge Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency appeals in Georgia and several other southern states. Thomas can take action on his own or refer the matter to full court. Trump’s attorney recently filed a Supreme Court petition asking the Supreme Court to begin a legal battle over classified documents seized during the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida real estate. The ballot was brought into question, in which case he was the only member of the court to vote against allowing the House Committee to investigate on January 1. On January 6, 2021, the US Capitol rioted to obtain Trump records held by the National Archives and Records Administration. Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, is a conservative and staunch Trump supporter. A “Stop Steal” rally at 6 Ellipse sent a letter to Meadows in the weeks following the election, encouraging him to overthrow Biden’s victory and bring Trump to power. She also contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks following the election, but there was no evidence of contact with Georgia officials. Thomas recently interviewed the House Committee in January. She supported the erroneous claim that the 2020 election was a scam, despite numerous federal and local officials, long lists of courts, former campaign workers, and even President Trump’s Attorney General all saying there was no evidence. Mass Scam.___Meg Kinnard can be contacted at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Washington’s Mark Sherman contributed to this report.
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