Thomas Blocks Order for Graham's Testimony

Senator argues that he doesn't have to answer questions in Georgia election case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2022 1:37 PM CDT
Clarence Thomas Blocks Graham's Georgia Testimony
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a new group portrait at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily blocked Sen. Lindsey Graham's testimony to a special grand jury investigating whether then-President Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state. Thomas' order is intended to prevent Fani Willis, Fulton County district attorney, from compelling Graham to testify while the Supreme Court weighs the Republican senator's request for a lengthier halt to the proceedings, the AP reports. Willis has a deadline Thursday to tell the high court why Graham should have to answer the grand jury's questions. Lower courts have ruled that his testimony can take place. A subpoena calls for Graham to testify Nov. 17, per CNBC.

Thomas acted on his own, as the justice who handles emergency appeals from Georgia. Graham has argued that as a senator, he has immunity under the Constitution's "speech or debate" and isn't required to answer questions about work involving his legislative duties, reports Reuters. Last month, US District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled that the senator is protected from having to answer questions on his "investigatory fact-finding," but he can be asked about communications with the Trump campaign and about alleged efforts to encourage state officials to throw out ballots.

(More Lindsey Graham stories.)

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