sen. Lindsey Graham grants temporary reprieve from Ga . Grand Jury testimony

A federal appeals court has temporarily suspended an injunction against Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) is set to testify before a Georgia Grand Jury investigating Republican efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

Graham had formally appealed a judge’s order requiring him to testify on Tuesday, saying it would cause “irreparable harm” that would “violate his constitutional immunity”.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit temporarily suspended his appearance on Sunday and asked a lower court to consider whether Graham should be protected from answering some questions about his official duties as a U.S. Senator.

Graham has called the Georgia inquiry “a fishing expedition” and argued that the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause” protects lawmakers from answering questions about their official legislative duties.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which leads the investigation into the actions of former President Donald Trump and his allies, argued in a federal district the court filed Friday that Graham must appear before a special grand jury this week, despite his appeal to delay offering a testimony.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has expressed interest in questioning Graham about conversations he had in the aftermath of the 2020 election with Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) among others. In court documents, Willis has said her investigation “explores the concerted efforts of multiple states to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.” Her office’s filing on Friday argued that delaying Graham’s appearance would “delay the disclosure of an entire class of relevant witnesses,” delaying the investigation’s timeline.

District Attorney Says Graham’s Testimony Is Crucial In Election Investigation

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Friday rejected Graham’s request to postpone his testimony, as well as his request for an emergency hearing.

“Senator Graham’s arguments are absolutely inconclusive, and they don’t even show a ‘substantial case,'” the judge wrote at the time, prompting Graham’s lawyers to file an emergency appeal.

On Sunday, the appeals court ordered the lower court to review arguments about whether Graham is entitled to “a partial quash or amendment of the subpoena” with the request for his testimony. Once that review by the lower court is completed, the appeals court said it would consider the case.

John Wagner and Matthew Brown contributed to this report.

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