Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) ran up a hefty legal bill in his unsuccessful quest to avoid testifying before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election – and he’s not shy about asking for help.
“I’m trying to get people to help me pay my legal bills,” Graham told Raw Story. “Anybody is welcome to help.”
As previously reported by Raw Story, nine of Graham’s Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate have already contributed a total of $78,000 through their leadership PACs to the Lindsey Graham Legal Expense Trust Fund.
Graham testified in November 2022 before a special purpose grand jury called by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to investigate “the facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to possible attempts to disrupt the lawful administration of the 2020 elections in the state of Georgia.”
Prosecutors were interested in hearing from Graham about two phone calls after the Nov. 3, 2020, election in which the senator allegedly questioned Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff “about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
Last year, Graham hired a high-powered legal team that included Donald F. McGahn II, a former White House general counsel and former Federal Election Commission chair, to try to get the subpoena quashed. The legal fight ended with the US Supreme Court upholding a lower-court decision denying Graham’s motion.
The legal team included McGahn and two other attorneys with the Jones Day law firm, along with two attorneys from the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm in South Carolina.
Roughly a week after Graham testified before the Fulton County special purpose grand jury, his campaign paid Nelson Mullins $268,228 for “legal services.”
Beginning in December 2022, Graham’s Senate colleagues began contributing to the legal expense fund. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND) and James Lankgford (R-OK) all donated the maximum allowable amount of $10,000, while Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) donated $8,000, while Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) donated $5,000.
The special purpose grand jury in Fulton County concluded its work last month. Under Georgia law, special purpose grand juries can be impaneled to review specific matters involving complex facts and circumstances and take longer to work than a normal grand jury. Unlike regular grand juries, special purpose grand juries are not empowered to issue indictments, but may recommend criminal prosecution.
Last month, Willis told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney that “decisions are imminent” as to whether to indict Trump and others. Prosecutors are believed to be considering state charges including solicitation to commit election fraud, making false statements and violation of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
On Monday, Judge McBurney ruled that portions of the special grand purpose grand jury report may be released.