The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Sunday temporarily suspended his appearance, asking a lower court to consider whether Graham should be protected from answering certain questions about his official duties as a U.S. senator.
Graham called the Georgia hearing “a fishing trip” and argued that the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause” protects lawmakers from answering questions about their official legislative duties.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the activities of former President Donald Trump and his associates, argued in a federal district. Despite his appeal to postpone testifying, Graham filed a court filing Friday to appear before a special jury this week.
Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis (D) He has expressed his desire to interrogate Graham His conversations with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger (R) after the 2020 election, among other things. In court documents, Willis said his investigation will examine “multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the November 2020 election results in Georgia and elsewhere.” A motion filed Friday by his office argued that delaying Graham’s appearance would “delay the disclosure of the entire array of relevant witnesses,” which would push back the trial’s timeline.
U.S. District Judge Lee Martin May on Friday denied Graham’s request to postpone his testimony and request for an emergency hearing.
“Senator Graham’s arguments are completely unpersuasive and do not even establish a ‘substantial case,'” the judge wrote at the time, leading Graham’s lawyers to file an urgent appeal.
On Sunday, the appeals court ordered the lower court to review arguments about whether Graham was entitled to “modify a partial quashing or subpoena” seeking his testimony. The appeals court said it would consider the case after that lower court review.
John Wagner and Matthew Brown contributed to this report.
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