Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will not cooperate with an ongoing investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, into the 2020 election and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results, his attorneys said Wednesday, blasting the district attorney’s probe as a “fishing expedition” and vowing to fight the subpoena for his testimony in court.
Graham is “simply a witness” in Fulton County’s investigation and “is neither a target nor subject,” his attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin said in a statement Wednesday.
The senator will challenge in court the subpoena calling him to testify to a grand jury, the lawyers said, claiming it “would erode the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a Member of Congress to do their job.”
The attorneys slammed the investigation as “all politics” and claimed any information Graham shared with the Fulton County investigators would “immediately be shared” with the House January 6 Committee, which is conducting a fully separate investigation into the post-election period.
Graham’s testimony is sought because the senator called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the election—allegedly “at least” twice, according to subpoenas reported on Wednesday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—and asked him about potential issues with Georgia’s signature-matching requirements for ballots.
Raffensperger said the senator “appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots,” the Washington Post reported at the time, and he told CNN there was an “implication” of, “Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.”
Graham has denied that characterization of their call, calling it “ridiculous,” and said he was only trying to better understand the state’s signature requirements.
“As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham was well within his rights to discuss with state officials the processes and procedures among administering elections,” Daniel and Austin said Wednesday.
“He asked if the ballots could be matched back to the voters,” Raffensperger told CNN in November 2020 about his call with Graham. “I got the sense it implied that then you could throw those out for any, if you look at the counties with the highest frequent error of signatures. So that’s the impression that I got.”
Fani Willis, Fulton County’s district attorney, convened a grand jury in May as part of the district attorney’s ongoing investigation into the 2020 election, which will examine whether Trump violated state law in his efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in the state. In addition to Graham’s call with Raffensperger—which he has said was not done at Trump’s behest—Trump himself also had a call with the secretary of state, in which he asked him to “find” enough votes to declare Trump the winner. Graham was one of several Trump allies who were issued subpoenas in the probe Tuesday, the first time people in Trump’s orbit have been subpoenaed as part of the investigation. In addition to Graham, investigators have also called far-right attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis and Cleta Mitchell to testify, among others. Graham is the latest in a string of Trump allies to resist subpoenas from investigators looking into the president’s post-election activities, as others including Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro have defied congressional subpoenas as well.