COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham must testify before a special grand jury investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia, a federal appeals court said Thursday.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis to take Graham in for questioning as she tries to wrap up the investigation. She said she hopes to be able to “send a grand jury” by the end of the year.
Graham could appeal the ruling to the full court of appeal. Graham’s attorney deferred comment to a spokesman for the senator’s office, who did not immediately comment on the ruling.
Willis said she wants to question the South Carolina Republican about phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, in the weeks after the 2020 election. Raffensperger said he interpreted questions about whether he could reject certain absentee ballots as a motion to reject legally cast votes.
Graham contested his subpoena, saying his position as a U.S. senator shielded him from having to testify in a government investigation. He denied any wrongdoing.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
Associated Press writers Kate Brumback in Atlanta and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.