South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday appeared before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Prosecutors in Fulton County, who are investigating efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to subvert the results of the 2020 election in the Peach State, had long wanted to question Graham about calls he made to Georgia election officials after the presidential election, as well as his interactions with the Trump campaign, according to court documents.
“Today, Senator Graham appeared before the Fulton County Special Grand Jury for just over two hours and answered all questions. The Senator feels he was treated with respect, professionalism, and courtesy. Out of respect for the grand jury process he will not comment on the substance of the questions,” Graham’s office said in a statement.
Graham had fought for months to quash his subpoena. The Supreme Court ultimately declined to block the subpoena for the Republican senator’s grand jury testimony.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Graham arrived at the courthouse around 8 a.m. ET.
While Graham was ordered to appear for questioning, courts have left room for the senator to object to certain questions, which could have limited the scope of his testimony and responses.
Graham had argued he should not have to comply with the subpoena because he is protected under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which shields lawmakers from some criminal or civil proceedings related to their legislative duties.
The courts ruled Graham could not be questioned about fact-finding he embarked on related to his decision to certify the 2020 election results. However, a federal appeals court noted that “coordination with the Trump campaign regarding its post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements regarding the 2020 election, and efforts to ‘cajole’ or ‘exhort’ Georgia election officials” did not constitute legislative activity.
After Graham’s 2020 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Raffensperger said he was under the impression that Graham was suggesting he should discard some ballots.
“It was just an implication of, ‘Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out,’” Raffensperger told CNN at the time. Raffensperger has since testified before the Fulton County grand jury.
Graham has denied that he ever suggested Raffensperger should toss any ballots.
Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who spread conspiracies about the 2020 election, was initially scheduled to testify Tuesday, but was granted a provisional stay by an appeals court while he attempts to challenge his subpoena.
Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann was also summoned to testify Tuesday, according to court documents. However, it’s unclear if he will be appearing. Other witnesses have been able to negotiate privately to shift their subpoena dates or have challenged their subpoenas in court. An attorney for Herschmann did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has continued to battle in court for testimony from a handful of witnesses she would still like to hear from in her probe. Willis previously said she wants to wrap up the grand jury’s investigative work this year. And in a separate court proceeding, a prosecutor from her office said the grand jury was not planning to hear testimony for much longer.
This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday.
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