A federal appeals court on Sunday granted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) a reprieve, blocking a subpoena ordering him to testify before a Georgia grand jury probing former President Trump’s alleged interference into the 2020 election.
A three-judge panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily paused the subpoena, sending the case back to a district court to decide whether it should be partially quashed or modified, according to The Associated Press.
The panel agreed with Graham’s argument that the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause —which shields congressional members from testifying about legislative matters related to their work — prevents him from appearing before a grand jury in Fulton County.
The circuit court asked a U.S. District Court judge to look at whether the subpoena needs to be modified based on the Speech and Debate Clause.
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Graham had been set to appear before the special grand jury on Tuesday following a decision from a U.S. District Court that rejected his request to quash the subpoena and forced the senator to testify in the interest of not delaying the investigation. The U.S. District Court judge also ruled that Graham does not have testimonial immunity based on the Speech and Debate Clause.
Graham appealed to the circuit court and on Sunday won his first victory in the legal wrangling since being called to testify last month about phone calls he allegedly had with state election officials after the 2020 election.
The Fulton County probe centers around a January 2021 phone call during which Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” enough votes to secure his victory in the state.
Graham reportedly called Raffensperger and his staff shortly after Election Day, inquiring about voter fraud and asking for a re-examination of absentee ballots to generate a more favorable outcome for Trump.