Skip to main content

Lindsey Graham Drops South Carolina Challenge of Fulton County DA Subpoena — But He May Fight It Further in Georgia

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol May 10, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) have agreed that any challenge to Graham’s subpoena will be litigated in Georgia, ending a South Carolina case one day after Willis’ lawyers said it was premature.

A stipulation filed Tuesday said Graham has agreed to accept service of a subpoena “without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity,” and that any challenges will be filed in Fulton County Superior Court or the Northern District of Georgia.

It’s a largely procedural move that doesn’t address the key legal issues in Graham’s motion to quash or remove the matter to federal court. Lawyers for the South Carolina Republican filed the motion after Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney signed an order allowing Willis’ office to serve Graham with a subpoena or a material witness warrant for testimony before a special grand jury.

But Willis’ lawyers argued in a motion filed Monday that the District of South Carolina lacks jurisdiction because Graham hasn’t actually been served. They also said if the unserved warrant were removed to federal court, the only issue that could be decided is the issuance of the actual warrant, not “hypothetical privilege issues that may arise during the testimony of Mr. Graham” before a special grand jury in Fulton County.

They offered a preview of their argument if the case reaches that stage, though, saying in a footnote they weren’t referring to Graham as a senator because they disagree with his assertion that he was acting in his official capacity when he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to discuss Georgia’s vote tallies.

A status conference scheduled for Wednesday before U.S. District Judge David C. Norton in Charleston, South Carolina, has been cancelled.

Graham is among the high-ranking politicians Willis is seeking to have testify about possible post-election interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential vote. Rep.  Jody Hice, R- Georgia, said Monday he recently received a subpoena.

If Graham ultimately fails to stave off the subpoena, he will be required to travel to a Georgia courtroom to testify for the special grand jury from Aug. 2 to Aug. 30.

This is a developing story.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.