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Sen. Lindsey Graham continues to argue subpoena should be quashed, says election-related phone calls are protected

<i>Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images</i><br/>Sen. Lindsey Graham continued to argue in a court filing August 30 that a Fulton County subpoena for his testimony in the investigation into plots to illegally influence Georgia's 2020 election results should be quashed or heavily limited in scope.
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Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Sen. Lindsey Graham continued to argue in a court filing August 30 that a Fulton County subpoena for his testimony in the investigation into plots to illegally influence Georgia's 2020 election results should be quashed or heavily limited in scope.

By Holmes Lybrand

Sen. Lindsey Graham continued to argue in a court filing Wednesday that a Fulton County subpoena for his testimony in the investigation into plots to illegally influence Georgia’s 2020 election results should be quashed or, at the very least, heavily limited in scope.

In the filing, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, argued that the topics Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, wants to inquire about — namely, calls the senator made to election officials in Georgia, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, about reviewing ballots in the 2020 election — should not be allowed.

“(T)his Court should at least modify the subpoena to prohibit any questions about the above: Senator Graham’s phone-call investigation into Georgia’s elections process regarding the 2020 election and his motives for undertaking that investigation. Partial quashal, at least, is proper,” an attorney for Graham, Brian Lea, wrote.

In the filing, Lea argues that the phone calls were part of Graham’s investigation into claims of voter fraud, an investigation Graham has said he made to determine whether he should vote to certify the election for Joe Biden, which the senator ultimately did.

The phone calls, Lea says, were part of Graham’s duties as a US senator and were therefore protected by the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which shields lawmakers from some law enforcement actions when it comes to their legislative duties.

US District Judge Leigh Martin May previously rejected Graham’s efforts to dismiss the subpoena but was ordered by an appeals court earlier this month to consider if the subpoena should be partially quashed to comply with the Speech or Debate clause.

In a court filing last week, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office ridiculed Graham for his “extreme position” to quash the subpoena and the Senator’s position that the federal court should bar questions “on all topics” Willis has sought.

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