Atlanta

Judge wants list of questions that attorneys say Lindsey Graham can, can’t answer before grand jury

ATLANTA — A day after a federal appeals court temporarily halted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham from having to testify before the Fulton County special purpose grand jury, a federal judge gave Graham’s attorneys until Wednesday to provide a list of what they think that grand jury can and cannot ask a sitting U.S. senator.

Judge Leigh Martin May wants Graham’s attorneys to come up with what they feel the senator can legally answer under some Congressional privilege afforded to sitting senators.

Originally, May ordered Graham to testify before the grand jury this week, but Sunday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay saying Graham did not have to testify until those questions could be hammered out by both sides.

May gave Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis until next Monday to come up with her response to Graham’s list of questions.

The special grand jury wants to find out more about Graham’s two reported phone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff concerning absentee ballots from certain counties.

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In a hearing earlier this month, Graham’s attorneys asserted those phone calls were part of his fact-finding duties as a senator before he voted to certify then-Sen. Joe Biden as president.

But attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office contended Raffensperger told them he felt Graham was pressuring him and his office to toss out absentee ballots from certain counties in order to tip the Georgia election to former President Donald Trump.

Gov. Brian Kemp was scheduled to testify Tuesday, but that was halted as the judge overseeing the grand jury will have a hearing Thursday to decide if that testimony will be delayed until after the election.

The special purpose grand jury is investigating potential criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 election, including Trump’s phone call to Raffensperger, in which he asked the secretary of state to “find” nearly 12,000 votes.

Once complete, that grand jury will issue recommendations only as to whether it feels there’s enough evidence to warrant criminal indictments.

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