Judge rejects Lindsey Graham's effort to avoid testifying before Georgia grand jury
Lindsey Graham (CNN screenshot)

A federal judge has denied Sen. Lindsey Graham's attempt to avoid testifying before a Georgia grand jury.

The South Carolina Republican had attempted to quash a subpoena for his testimony before a special grand jury called by Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis to investigate Donald Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss in the state, which Graham assisted by calling secretary of state Brad Raffensperger and his staff to seek additional review of absentee ballots.

"The District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2020 elections," found U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May.

Graham had argued that Willis should pursue that evidence through other witnesses who were on the calls before issuing a subpoena to a senator, but the judge rejected those claims.

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"Even assuming the high-ranking official doctrine applies to Senator Graham under these circumstances, the District Attorney has nevertheless satisfied the 'extraordinary circumstances' standard," May found. "First, Senator Graham has unique personal knowledge about the substance and circumstances of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, as well as the logistics of setting them up and his actions afterward. And though other Georgia election officials were allegedly present on these calls and have made public statements about the substance of those conversations, Senator Graham has largely (and indeed publicly) disputed their characterizations of the nature of the calls and what was said and implied."

"Accordingly, Senator Graham’s potential testimony on these issues — in addition to his knowledge about topics outside of the calls such as his alleged coordination with the Trump Campaign before and after the calls are unique to Senator Graham, and Senator Graham has not suggested that anyone else from his office can speak to these issues or has unique personal knowledge of them," May added.