Senator Lindsey Graham testified Tuesday before a special grand jury in Georgia that his spokesman said was investigating possible illegal interference in the 2020 election by then-President Donald Trump and his state allies.
“Today, Senator Graham appeared before the Fulton County Special Grand Jury for a little over two hours and answered all questions,” the statement said. shared by its communications director, Kevin Bishopread.
“The senator feels he is being treated with respect, professionalism and courtesy,” the statement continued. “Out of respect for the grand jury process, he will not comment on the content of the questions.”
The Republican from South Carolina had tried to defend himself against the subpoena, arguing that a provision of the Constitution, the speech and debate clause, protects him from being forced to testify at all. But the Supreme Court earlier this month dismissed his challenge, clearing the way for him to testify.
Graham was first subpoenaed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in July.
Willis launched her investigation shortly after a recording of a phone conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 was released. In that call, Trump suggested Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Willis wanted to question Graham about two phone calls he had with Raffensperger and his associates in the weeks after the election. During those calls, Graham requested “a re-examination of certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia to investigate the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis wrote in a petition seeking to force his testimony.
Graham “also referred to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 Georgia election, consistent with public statements by well-known Trump campaign partners,” she wrote. She said in a hearing last month that Graham may be able to provide insight into the extent of coordinated efforts to influence outcomes.
Raffensperger said he took Graham’s postal ballot question as a suggestion to discard votes cast legally. Graham has dismissed this interpretation as “ridiculous”. Graham has also argued that the call was protected because he was asking questions to inform his decisions about voting to certify the 2020 election and future legislation.
In the Supreme Court order, the justices noted that Graham could still object to some issues. Lower courts have already told Willis she “may not ask about investigative actions,” which is protected by the Constitution. The Supreme Court justices previously wrote that their intervention was unnecessary because the courts “have determined that Senator Graham is not to be questioned about such activities.”