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FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has filed a motion in federal court fighting a subpoena to testify in a Georgia special grand jury investigation into alleged efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results, claiming the subpoena is politically motivated and would set a dangerous precedent for members of Congress.
Graham was compelled to testify before the grand jury regarding calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff in the weeks following the 2020 election — a time when former President Donald Trump raised numerous claims of fraud in states he lost, like Georgia.
Graham insists that he never attempted to persuade Raffensperger to overturn Georgia’s election results, and he’s not a target in the Georgia grand jury investigation.
“Senator Graham did not inject himself into Georgia’s electoral process, and never tried to alter the outcome of any election. The conversation was about absentee ballots and Georgia’s procedures,” states the motion to quash the subpoena, which was filed Tuesday in federal court in Graham’s home state of South Carolina.
Graham’s motion argues that the subpoena would violate Constitutional protections given to members of Congress under the Speech and Debate Clause, which is designed to ensure that legislators are allowed to go about official business.
According to Graham, the protections are absolute, and if members of Congress are compelled to testify in small matters, it would disrupt the operations of the federal government.
“What I’m trying to do is do my day job. If we open up county prosecutors being able to call every member of the Senate based on some investigation they think is good for the country, we’re opening Pandora’s Box,” Graham told Fox News in a statement.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sought to convene a special grand jury in order to “investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 elections in the State of Georgia.”
Raffensperger has testified in front of the grand jury, along with other members of his office and Georgia elections officials. Willis announced the subpoena against Graham on July 5, and Graham promised to fight it in court the following day. A Georgia judge on Monday ordered Graham to testify on Aug. 2, stating that the “court finds that Lindsey Graham is a necessary and material witness,” according to WSBTV.
Willis has also sought to compel former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to testify as well.
Willis’ effort to compel Graham to testify in Georgia is “an abuse of process,” according to the senator’s motion, and infringes on sovereign immunity since Graham argues the calls were made as part of his work as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On Aug. 2, the Senate will be in session and Graham would likely be needed for votes in the final weeks before the state work period begins Aug. 8.
“[Willis’] attempts to force Senator Graham to travel to Georgia for seven weeks during the middle of the Senate session is a gross overreach, especially given the immunity and privilege provided by the Speech or Debate Clause, and sovereign immunity,” Graham’s filing states.
The speech and debate clause protections are absolute, according to Graham’s filing, and a federal judge just this week dismissed former White House adviser Steve Bannon attempt to subpoena members of Congress.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, in dismissing Bannon’s motion to subpoena House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Jan. 6 committee to testify in his own trial for allegedly refusing to comply with a House subpoena last year, said that the “language of the speech or debate clause is absolute,” Politico reported. “The speech and debate clause bars such testimony,” Nichols said.
The Fulton County DA’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.