A probe of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who came to unparalleled prominence under President Trump, has been linked to the 2020 presidential election’s race for Georgia.
In a probe into potential criminal influence in the Georgia 2020 election, which Joe Biden narrowly won by 12,670 votes, a Fulton County grand jury has summoned Graham and other Trump officials.
In a statement published on Wednesday, the lawyers for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham stated that the investigation, which they referred to as a “fishing expedition,” had nothing to do with their client.
If Bart Daniel And Matt Austin Challenged The Subpoena In court, It Might Lead To A Lengthy Legal Battle
“It was perfectly legal for Senator Graham to consult with state officials about election protocols and procedures in his role as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A member of Congress’s ability to carry out their responsibilities would be jeopardized if today’s subpoena were to stand, they said in a statement on Wednesday. In court, Sen. Graham wants to fight the subpoena and is confident he will succeed.
Fulton County’s district attorney’s office said on Wednesday that it would intervene in the case if necessary to compel Graham to appear in person in court.
Following Trump’s narrow victory in Georgia, Democrats argue that Graham departed dramatically from conventional Senate oversight practices.
Graham called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger shortly after Biden barely won the state to inquire about the legality of thousands of ballots.
Senators were surprised by Graham’s choice to personally call Raffensperger instead of outsourcing the information-gathering assignment to his staff.
“The Georgian government does not appoint Lindsey Graham to represent it. When asked by the speaker if Lindsey Graham was either an investigator, an election official, or even one of the president’s attorneys or a representative.
In spite of Graham’s position as chairman of the committee, Zaccaro said that “this was not how the committee would conduct any form of examination.”
However, His Role In The Probe Into Illicit Election Tampering Raises Worries About His Possible Prosecution For A Crime
According to Stanley Brand, a former general counsel for the House and specialist in congressional ethics, Graham can seek protection under the “Speech and Debate” clause of the Constitution, which protects legislators from arrest while doing their official duties.
Before Graham and other senators voted on January 6 on objections to the certification of Biden’s win, Graham phoned Raffensperger, according to Raffensperger. They believe there are speech and debate implications in this, not the least of which would be his internal considerations with his colleagues, given that this was a voteable issue,” he added.
Graham’s connections with state officials outside of Congress, on the other hand, complicated the legal case; according to Brand,
It’s Not Clear How Much Of His Conversations With Raffensperger Will Be Made Public
But he also referenced “dicta” from the Supreme Court’s 1972 Gravel v. the United States ruling, which ruled that the “errands” lawmakers run with government agencies are not protected by the speech and debate clause. Brand accepted the Judiciary panel’s monitoring duties.
“That’s practically a question-by-question judgment,” he said, adding that the Speech and Debate Clause’s protections are mostly predicated on prospective court rulings.