Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)’s actions surrounding the 2020 election in Georgia “certainly appear” linked to former President Trump’s effort to pressure Georgia election officials, prosecutors in Georgia argued in a court filing Thursday seeking the senator’s testimony.
Driving the news: The Fulton County district attorney’s office pointed to Georgia election officials’ account that in November 2020 Graham “implied for us to audit the envelopes and then throw out the ballots for counties who have the highest frequency error of signatures” as grounds to compel Graham to talk to investigators as part of their probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
- Graham’s actions “certainly appear interconnected with former President Trump’s similar efforts to pressure Georgia election officials into ‘finding 11,780 votes’ and to spread Georgia election fraud disinformation,” the office wrote.
The other side: Graham has rejected that characterization and said he was simply trying to learn more about Georgia’s signature verification process.
The intrigue: Part of Graham’s argument to quash his subpoena rests in the constitution’s speech and debate clause, which protects members of Congress from questions about legislative actions.
- Fulton’s lawyers reject that, arguing that only applies with “references to actual legislative acts.”
Catch up quick: The same federal judge hearing Graham’s case ruled that Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) had to testify before the grand jury. But she said he could, on a case-by-case basis, claim legislative immunity on some questions.
- The broad-reaching investigation has already sent target letters to those who might face indictment, including the slate of Republican electors who falsely “certified” a Trump victory in Georgia in December 2020.
What’s next: A hearing on Graham’s case is set for Wednesday.
Of note: Graham has enlisted former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn to help argue his case.