Using the U.S. Constitution to defend himself from a crusading district attorney’s subpoena, Sen. Lindsey Graham is pushing back at efforts to force him to testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis, a Democrat who has already been stripped of her power to interview one investigation target, cast a wide net to go after former President Donald Trump’s associates. A judge deemed her fundraiser for the opponent of her investigation to be a “conflict.”
And it’s not going easy with Graham. Willis’ investigation looking for dirt on Trump and his associates seeks Graham’s presence Aug. 23 before the special grand jury. Wisely, the South Carolina Republican and Trump ally asked that his challenge be heard in federal court in Atlanta.
This would be instead of the Superior Court judge overseeing the special grand jury.
Willis said the former president’s campaign engaged in a “multi-state, coordinated plan” to influence and possibly overturn election results in Georgia and elsewhere.
Not so, said Graham. Two calls were made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff concerning absentee ballots. Graham insists the calls were merely fact-finding and completely appropriate.
Willis wrote last month that the calls were to “explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome” for the 2020 presidential election. Democrats should know well about recounts, which are hardly criminal or even unusual.
Their own 2018 loser in the Georgia governor’s race never conceded.
Plus, there’s the U.S. Constitution.
The hallowed document contains a legal concept called “sovereign immunity.” This, Graham’s lawyers assert, gives “absolute protection against inquiry” into his legislative acts.
They also declare that it prevents local prosecutors from forcing a U.S. senator “to face a state ad hoc investigative body.” Any extraordinary circumstances necessary to avoid sovereign immunity, his lawyers argue, have not been demonstrated.
The Jan. 6 House Select Committee in Washington showed in recent weeks that it was on a hunt with a predetermined outcome, and this action in Atlanta appears to be more of the same. At some point, it will come to Democrats that seeking clarity on an election outcome is hardly criminal.