- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2022

A Georgia prosecutor investigating former President Donald Trump’s actions in the 2020 election has pleaded with a court to speed up testimony from Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told the U.S. District Court of northern Georgia Friday that failure to bring Mr. Graham before a special purpose grand jury would waste valuable time and close off critical avenues of inquiry.

Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, is appealing a judge’s decision to order him to testify before the panel, saying his actions were protected by constitutional rights he enjoys as a person engaging in Senate business.

In court papers, Ms. Willis said she has been trying to get Mr. Graham to appear for six weeks, so the courts should deny his motion to block his testimony while his appeal is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Mr. Graham made at least two phone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger seeking information on the state’s election procedures after the 2020 presidential election. His actions have made him a witness of interest to the grand jury, along with Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who appeared before the grand jury in Atlanta last week.

Ms. Willis said her probe is not limited to the Raffensperger calls, and that Mr. Graham‘s testimony could unlock new avenues for her investigators.

“Senator Graham‘s testimony is sought by the [special purpose grand jury] not simply because he possesses necessary and material information but also because he is expected to provide information regarding additional sources of relevant information,” Ms. Willis told the district court. “As a result, delaying the senator’s testimony would not simply postpone his appearance; it would also delay the revelation of an entire category of relevant witnesses or information, each of whom would require additional time and resources to secure on behalf of the [grand jury].”

Mr. Graham says his actions at the time were protected by the speech and debate clause of the Constitution. He says the subpoena is politically motivated and he will fight it in the courts.

In her filing, Ms. Willis said Mr. Graham is simply jamming up the legal system.

“Senator Graham insists that he seeks to delay his appearance before the Special Purpose Grand Jury not just for his own sake, but also for the sake of the separation of powers, federalism, and ‘for the People,’” Ms. Willis wrote. “The Special Purpose Grand Jury, however, is the People: a collection of citizens called together to perform their civic duty on behalf of their neighbors and families.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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