Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., asked the Supreme Court Friday to end a subpoena requiring him to testify in a Georgia County prosecutor’s criminal investigation into potential interference in the 2020 election.
Graham’s request comes a day after a the federal appeals court ordered him to testify in the grand jury investigation that has already ensnared Trump allies such as Rudy Giuliani.
The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Thursday rejected his arguments that he did not have to answer questions about two phone calls he made to Georgia election officials after the 2020 election because his actions were protected by the Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution. .
In a 33-page request sent to Judge Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency applications for the 11th Circuit, Graham’s lawyers requested an immediate emergency stay on Friday.
“Without a suspended sentence, Senator Lindsey Graham will soon be questioned by a local Georgia prosecutor and her ad hoc investigative body about her ‘protected speech or debate’ related to the 2020 election,” the filing reads.
He argues that the court must intervene or “Graham’s constitutional immunities will be lost, and his statutory appeal will be raised, when the local Georgia prosecutor questions him.”
Thomas can decide the matter himself or refer the case to the full court.
The Georgia grand jury was convened earlier this year to help Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into possible interference in the 2020 elections by the old President Donald Trump and others. He has already interviewed a number of high profile Trump allies such as Giulani and Trump lawyer John Eastmanboth of which helped advance his fraudulent electoral claims.
The grand jury wants to question Graham about the circumstances of two Phone calls he did to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his office after the election. Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, said Graham pressed him whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to eliminate legally cast votes. Graham denied that was his intention and said the calls were “investigative” and part of his duties as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judges at the state and federal levels have found that Graham’s claims that he is immune from questions on appeals are too broad. The appeals court’s decision on Thursday agreed with a lower court that determined Graham should be able to answer some key grand jury questions, including whether he consulted with Trump’s campaign before passing the calls.
The 11th Circuit said the categories of interrogations established by the lower court “could not qualify as legislative activities under Supreme Court jurisprudence,” and investigators could question Graham about them.
Willis’ office declined to comment on Graham’s request for Supreme Court intervention.