Clarence Thomas Freezes Order for Lindsey Graham to Testify Before Georgia Grand Jury Investigating 2020 Election | CNN Politics

CNN — Judge Clarence Thomas agreed on Monday to temporarily freeze a lower court order requiring the testimony of a Republican senator. Lindsay Graham examines efforts to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election before a special grand jury in the Atlanta area. Thomas acted alone because he had the jurisdiction of the lower court that originally issued the order. Thomas’ action is likely an administrative suspension issued on Monday to give Supreme Court judges more time to consider the dispute. The court has asked Georgia investigators for an answer by Thursday. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Democrat, is leading a special grand jury investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to manipulate the 2020 Georgia state election results. After her election, she called Georgia’s elections officials and said she wanted to ask Graham a question. A Republican senator from South Carolina argues that such testimony is prohibited by the constitution’s speech or debate provisions. A Fulton County spokesperson declined to comment on Thomas’ move to suspend the subpoena. CNN reached out to representatives of Graham. A lower court said that as long as Graham is calling Georgia election officials as part of a fact-finding investigation into Congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, that could be out of bounds under the Constitution. However, the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that “communications and mediation regarding post-Georgian efforts with the Trump campaign, public statements about the 2020 elections, and efforts to ‘play’ or ’emphasize’ Georgia election officials were unfair.” It is not a legislative activity protected by the Speech and Debate clause.” Willis’ investigation recently secured testimony from a grand jury of a Republican senator from Georgia. Kelly Loeffler and former White House adviser Pat Cipollone reported on CNN last week. The Fulton County investigation began in January 2021 to examine an hour-long phone call from then-President Trump asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Rappensperger to “find” the votes Trump needed to win the state. Investigations now report baseless election fraud allegations against state legislators, fake electoral systems, unauthorized individual efforts to gain access to one Georgia county’s voting machines, and CNN campaigning to intimidate and harass lower-level elections officials. A lawsuit over whether Graham could be forced to testify before a special grand jury has been ongoing since the summer. Graham went to the Supreme Court for arbitration on Friday. He told the judges in court that the phone calls with Georgia officials involved “voting on an imminent election certification” and that he was charged with “reviewing election-related matters” as then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. .” The senator, however, argued to the High Court that the protections and motives the constitution afforded to the legislator were inadequate. It is designed to precisely prevent this kind of testing,” he wrote. He added that the lower courts were “wrong to think that other hypothetical questions would also be allowed.” Steve Bladek, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas Law School, said Monday’s order doesn’t mean Graham won’t appear before a grand jury. “This kind of ‘administrative moratorium’ does not predict the likelihood that the entire court or even the judge who issued it will vote,” Vladeck said. has been “The bigger question is how the whole court will decide, and today’s order doesn’t give us an answer,” he added. This story has been updated with additional details.

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