U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham was supposed to testify before a Georgia grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to reverse the former president’s 2020 election setback on Tuesday, but the matter has been sent back to a lower court for another look at the appeals court’s decision.
Graham’s objection to the grand jury subpoena was dismissed by a federal judge on Monday. Graham, a Republican, said he was exempt from testifying before the committee because of his status as a United States senator.
As a result of an order issued by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday, Graham will not have to testify on Tuesday, when he was originally scheduled to do so.
Graham is a key Trump ally, and his testimony could shed light on the coordinated effort by Trump’s staff to overturn the 2020 results.
A higher court reinstated Graham’s opportunity to contest the subpoena on the grounds that the “speech or debate” section of the United States Constitution affords special rights to members of Congress. Legislators may be shielded from having to talk about their work in the legislature by this provision.
“The district court shall accelerate the parties’ briefing in a way that it deems suitable,” the order from Sunday stated.
Prosecutors say the grand jury is interested in Graham because he allegedly discussed the prospect of re-examining absentee ballots in at least two phone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff in the weeks following the November 2020 presidential election.
The investigation in Georgia is only one of many legal problems facing the ex-president. This month, federal officials raided his house in Florida, and a separate congressional panel is looking into his role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Georgia was a swing state where President Joe Biden’s victory helped drive him to the White House, and Trump has erroneously claimed that widespread voter fraud caused his loss there.
Criminal proceedings are being conducted by the Fulton County, Georgia, special grand jury. On January 2, 2021, Trump was overheard urging a top state official to “find” enough votes to overturn his loss against Biden in the state. He insists he is innocent and has not done anything wrong.
Members of Trump’s former legal staff have also been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury. Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared Wednesday before a special grand jury in Atlanta.