Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is seen during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 25. File Photo by Ting Shen/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Friday denied a motion filed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., to delay his testimony before a special grand jury as prosecutors probe former President Donald Trump for his possible attempts to interfere with the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Graham had filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Thursday to stay her earlier decision not to quash his subpoena to appear before the Fulton County grand jury.
"Senator Graham raises a number of arguments as to why he is likely to succeed on the merits, but they are all unpersuasive, not least because they largely misconstrue the Court's holdings," May wrote in her Friday order.
The subpoena orders Graham to testify before the grand jury on Tuesday because prosecutors want to question him about two phone calls that he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff as Trump pressured officials to "find" enough votes to overturn the results of the election.
Graham, the former head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he should not be forced to on the argument that his actions relating to Georgia after the 2020 presidential election are protected under the speech and debate clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"Sen. Graham requested that the subpoena be quashed in its entirety, and the court denied this request first and primarily because there are multiple topics upon which Sen. Graham could face questioning that in no way implicate protected legislative activity under the Speech or Debate Clause," May wrote.
The Fulton County District Attorney's Office wrote in a court filing earlier Friday that Graham should testify because he is "crucial" to the investigation.
"Delaying the senator's testimony would not simply postpone his appearance," that filing reads. "It would also delay the revelation of an entire category of relevant witnesses or information."