The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who was seeking an injunction blocking him from having to appear before a grand jury to give testimony regarding an election interference inquiry in the state of Georgia.
Graham had previously lost an appeal from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals after a district judge ruled that he had to appear before the grand jury to give testimony regarding his conversations with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) relating to the state’s 2020 presidential election outcome. Graham had allegedly asked Raffensperger to disqualify all mail-in ballots from counties with high rates of signature discrepancies, even if it meant ballots with no issues — the vast majority of those sent in — would be tossed aside and uncounted.
Had Raffensberger complied with Graham’s request, it would have excluded thousands of legitimate votes from the state’s total. Because most mail-in ballots that year came from supporters of now-President Joe Biden, this would have illegitimately skewed the election results in favor of Donald Trump.
A temporary injunction on the appeals court ruling for Graham to appear before the grand jury was issued by Justice Clarence Thomas late last month, as he is responsible for overseeing the 11th Circuit Court. But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued an order stating that it would not grant the request to hear Graham’s appeal.
The latest order means that Graham must appear before the grand jury to answer questions from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis regarding his conversations with Raffensperger — and possibly questions about strategizing with Trump and his campaign team to overturn the election result in the state.
Graham may still refuse to answer questions by citing his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself.
It’s likely that Graham committed a crime in seeking to have mail-in ballots improperly discarded, as it is illegal in the state of Georgia to try to coerce an election official to engage in election fraud.
The High Court did write in its order on Tuesday that Graham does not have to answer any questions regarding his official business as a U.S. senator, however. It’s possible that Graham will claim in future appeals after meeting with the grand jury that he was acting within his senatorial duties when trying to coerce Raffensperger to discount thousands of votes.
Graham emphasized that portion of the order in a statement issued by his office.
“The Senator’s legal team intends to engage with the District Attorney’s office on next steps to ensure respect for this constitutional immunity,” the senator said in the statement.
It takes longer to read this sentence than it does to support our work.
We don’t have much time left to raise the $15,000 needed to meet Truthout‘s basic publishing costs this month. Will you take a few seconds to donate and give us a much-needed boost?
We know you are deeply committed to the issues that matter, and you count on us to bring you trustworthy reporting and comprehensive analysis on the real issues facing our country and the world. And as a nonprofit newsroom supported by reader donations, we’re counting on you too. If you believe in the importance of an independent, free media, please make a tax-deductible donation today!