A district court judge said Graham must appear, but narrowed the range of questions prosecutors could ask.
Without prejudice to lower court rulings, Graham’s lawyer, Donald F. McCann, told the Supreme Court, “Sen. Graham would suffer the precise injury he sought to prevent: being tried in state court for his legislative activity and official actions.
McCann, a former adviser to Trump, asked Judge Clarence Thomas, who was assigned to hear emergency requests from the 11th Circuit, to stay at least temporarily. He said Graham was expected to testify “within a month.”
Thomas can act on the request on his own or refer the matter to the full court.
The Atlanta grand jury investigating 2020 presidential election interference has already heard testimony from several Trump lawyers. Rudy GiulianiJohn Eastman and Boris Epstein. Willis also wants to investigate former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Graham will be asked to testify He called Georgia election officials Right after Trump lost the election to Joe Biden. Prosecutors say Graham has “unique knowledge” of the Trump campaign and “multi-state, coordinated efforts” to influence election results in Georgia and elsewhere.
But Graham has said his actions were legitimate legislative action protected by the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause.” The senator’s attorneys said they had been informed that Graham was a witness — not a target — of the investigation.
Last month, a district court judge said prosecutors could not question Graham Parts of calls They are legislative fact-finding. But the judge said Willis’ team could examine post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements related to the 2020 election and coordination with the Trump campaign in efforts to “cajole” or “target” Georgia election officials.
In its order Thursday, the 11th Circuit panel agreed with the lower court judge that “those actions cannot qualify as legislative actions under any understanding of Supreme Court precedent.” Trump nominated two of the three judges on the panel.
Graham could still assert his rights if there was a dispute about certain questions, the court noted.
McCann said the case should not proceed without the Supreme Court weighing in. “The district court refused to quash, or at least bar, this impermissible question—and the 11th Circuit’s cursory approval, ‘misquoting the speech. Or The discussion clause,’ which fails to invoke or apply a standard of stay, and without reference to sovereign immunity — demands review,” he wrote.
McCann said the district attorney could continue the investigation without Graham by questioning “other witnesses not prohibited by the United States Constitution.”
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