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Efforts to delay Senator Lindsay Graham's testimony on election probe rejected

A federal judge on Friday investigated whetherSen. Lindsay Grahamattempted to illegally attempt by then-President Donald Trump and others said he attended a special grand jury to There should be no delay in allowing him to continue challenging the courts to influence his 2020 election in Georgia.

Earlier this week,United States District Judge Lee Martin May ordered Graham to honor a special grand jury subpoena. Graham's attorneys have appealed the order to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, asking May to reserve her sentence and bar the special grand jury from questioning him while the appeal is pending. rice field. May declined the request on Friday's order.

"Under these circumstances, any further delay in Senator Graham's testimony would delay the overall conduct of the grand jury investigation," May wrote. "Thus, since any further delay poses a significant risk of impeding the grand jury investigation as a whole, the court has concluded that granting a stay will almost certainly result in serious harm to the grand jury and its investigation. Judge.”

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Graham is now scheduled to testify on Tuesday. But he still has another motion to keep May's judgment pending before the 11th Circuit.

A representative for Graham did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis launched an investigation early last year and filed a petition in July seeking testimony from seven Trump advisers and associates, including Graham.

Former New York Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giulianispent nearly six hours before a special grand jury on Wednesday, saying he is under investigation. testified. Two other attorneys who advised Trump, John Eastman and Jenna Ellis, were ordered to appear before a panel later this month this week. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday for testimony. filed a motion to reverse the subpoena.

The inquiry was initiated by a phone call between Trump and his Secretary of State of Georgia Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, in which Trump confronted He is one of several pending legal threats. Willis said he was considering forcing the former president himself to testify before a special grand jury. , argued that a provision of the U.S. Constitution provides absolute protection for senators from being questioned about legislative actions. The judge also rejected Graham's argument that the doctrine of "sovereign immunity" protects U.S. senators from subpoenas by state prosecutors.

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Graham also said Willis, a Democrat, had to deal with the unusual circumstances necessary to coerce testimony from high-ranking officials. But the judge said he showed "extraordinary circumstances and special needs" to Graham's testimony on issues related to Willis' attempt to influence or interfere with the Georgia election.

Willis and her team called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff shortly after the 2020 general election. He said he wanted to ask Graham about the two calls.Among these calls, Graham said, "In particular absences cast in Georgia to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.

Graham also referred to widespread allegations of voter fraud in the November 2020 Georgia elections, Willis wrote in the petition. This is consistent with public statements made by known Trump campaign officials," she wrote.

She determined that Republican and Democratic state election officials across the country, courts, and even Trump's Attorney General did not have enough evidence of voter fraud to influence the outcome of the election. .

In asking May to suspend her decision, Graham's attorney argued that his right to immunity was violated the moment he was questioned.

Willis' The team responded that delaying Graham's testimony would adversely affect the investigation. You are expected to guess.Therefore, waiting to speak to him "may eventually delay" the entire investigation.

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In a separate motion for an injunction filed in the 11th Circuit, Graham's attorneys argue Wednesday that Chief of Staff Donald Wakeford agreed. Suspend scheduled testimony pending the outcome of the appeal. They included voicemails Wakeford left for Graham's attorney Brian Lee.

Lea, in a declaration filed with the motion, later that afternoon she advised Wakeford that Graham's grand jury would not proceed until the appeal was resolved. said it was confirmed. However, Wakeford emailed him 20 minutes later, stating, "He said, 'We don't want to characterize the content of our response before it's written,'" Lee wrote.

Lee said he contacted Wakeford several times by phone and email, but he did not respond until Wakeford emailed him at 4:40 a.m. Friday. rice field. He should appear before the special grand jury as scheduled.


His AP writer Meg Kinnard of Columbia, South Carolina contributed to the report.

© 2022 The Canadian Press