Lindsey Graham has never been known for his fortitude. Or for following the law. Which is what makes the latest development in his fight with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis feel so on brand.
The anti-LGBTQ senator was slapped with a subpoena earlier this month from a grand jury initiated by Willis to investigate ex-president Donald Trump’s failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
After first vowing to fight the subpoena, calling it nothing more than a “fishing expedition”, Graham caved yesterday and agreed to comply with the grand jury’s request for his testimony… for now.
The grand jury wants to speak with him about those two phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff shortly after the 2020 election.
According to court documents, Graham “questioned Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
“Senator Graham has agreed to accept service of a subpoena for testimony from the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury in Atlanta, Georgia, without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity,” the senator’s lawyers wrote in a South Carolina court filing yesterday.
As a result, a hearing that had been scheduled for today in the U.S. District Court in Charleston was canceled. But Graham’s squabble with Willis isn’t over yet.
A spokesperson for the anti-LGBTQ senator downplayed the situation by saying he merely agreed to move the case from federal district court in South Carolina to federal district court in Georgia, and that he still plans to challenge the subpoena.
“Graham has not agreed to testify,” spokesperson Kevin Bishop said. “Graham will fight the subpoena in federal district court in Georgia.”
But it’s going to be an uphill battle for the senator. A Georgia judge has already ruled against him once already, saying he is a “necessary and material witness” in Willis’ probe.
Graham’s lawyers have argued that, as a sitting U.S. senator, he has “sovereign immunity” from state court procedures, as well as constitutional protection because “the testimony sought relates to matters within the legislative sphere.”
Last week, Graham told reporters he is focused on doing his job as a representative for the people of South Carolina, but Willis and others are making it very difficult.
“What I’m trying to do is do my day job,” he whined. “If we open up county prosecutors being able to call every member of the Senate based on some investigation they think is good for the country, we’re opening Pandora’s Box!”
Here’s what folx are saying on Twitter…
Breaking: Lindsey Graham will testify before the Georgia grand jury investigating Trump's possible criminal meddling in the 2020 election.
Lindsey Graham is in deep trouble.
— Jack Cocchiarella (@JDCocchiarella) July 20, 2022
How many times will he take the 5th?
— GDawgs (@gadawg97) July 20, 2022
Good to see a sitting senator finally agree to abide by the rule of law after exhausting all other options. pic.twitter.com/wP8VkctUcY
— Sho’Nuff Skywalker (@BreakandEnterTV) July 20, 2022
Lindsey Graham “has agreed to accept his subpoena” ? 🙄 Well isn’t that nice of him! Can you imagine if regular citizens just la di da decided to accept a subpoena or not?
— Rachel🌊😷😢🌏❤️ (@RachMiata) July 20, 2022
“without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity,”
I’m not sure this is over yet.
— John McCarthy (@JohnFMcCarthy) July 19, 2022
That moment after a Georgia DA refused to quash Lindsey Graham’s subpoena and only referred to him as “Mr. Graham.” Lindsey gasped and declared, “My name is SENATOR Lindsey Graham and I shall not be tampered with!” pic.twitter.com/vBBlQvH9eK
— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) July 19, 2022
I love how media has just decided to frame compliance with subpoenas as optional for conservatives.
— Jason Grant (@jase0910) July 20, 2022
As if he had a choice.https://t.co/Bg3JjycReL
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) July 19, 2022
Law and Order Republicans desperately attempting to dodge law and order.
— Michael B Lehrhoff (@mblehrhoff) July 20, 2022
Bless his heart
— Debbie 🙉🙈🙊☮️ (@BriteDaizAhead) July 20, 2022
The grand jury has also subpoenaed seven other people, including Trump’s personal lawyer/sideshow act Rudy Giuliani.
In a statement earlier this month, Willis said, “It is my hope that Sen. Graham will have a moment of quiet reflection and decide to bring truthful testimony before this grand jury that wants to hear from him on some very important issues.”