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Sen. Lindsey Graham says he'll challenge subpoena in Georgia Trump probe

Graham's lawyers dismissed the subpoena, which seeks information about his phone calls to Georgia election officials, as “all politics.”
Image: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with Republican Senators and economists about the Democrats social policy spending bill on November 30, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with Republican senators and economists about the Democrats’ social policy spending bill in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 30.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Lawyers for Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday they'll challenge a subpoena demanding that he testify before a special grand jury in Georgia hearing evidence in a probe of possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others.

In a statement, Graham's attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin said the subpoena, in which the grand jury hearing evidence in the Fulton County district attorney's investigation seeks his testimony, is "all politics."

"Senator Graham plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena, and expects to prevail," the statement said.

Graham was one of a number of Trump allies the special grand jury subpoenaed Tuesday. The grand jury was impaneled this year to assist District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia.

Willis dismissed Graham lawyers' allegation that her investigation was motivated by politics, telling NBC News on Wednesday that he "doesn’t understand the seriousness of what we’re doing." She also said the public should expect additional subpoenas of Trump associates and indicated that she wouldn’t rule out subpoenaing the former president himself.

Among the incidents Willis has said she’s investigating is a post-election phone call Graham made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in November 2020. Raffensperger has said Graham pressed him about whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes.

The subpoena said Graham “made at least two telephone calls” to Raffensperger and his staff. “During the telephone calls, [Graham] questioned Secretary 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. [Graham] also made reference to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia, consistent with public statements made by known affiliates of the Trump Campaign,” the subpoena said.

Graham has denied having pressured Raffensperger — who testified under subpoena before the 23-person grand jury last month — and he has called the allegation “ridiculous.”

In their statement, Graham's lawyers said investigators from Willis' office told them Graham "is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness."

They also accused Willis of working hand in hand with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the January 6 Committee," the statement said. "Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee."

They also maintained that Graham didn't do anything wrong in his phone calls.

"As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham was well within his rights to discuss with state officials the processes and procedures around administering elections. Should it stand, the subpoena issued today would erode the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a Member of Congress to do their job," the statement said.