Sen. Lindsey Graham wasn't seeking to interfere in Georgia's 2020 election when he called state officials to ask them to reexamine certain absentee ballots after President Donald Trump's narrow loss to Democrat Joe Biden, his lawyers said in a federal court filing.
Graham's lawyers made the argument as part of efforts to fight a subpoena compelling the South Carolina Republican to testify before a special grand jury in Georgia that's investigating Trump and his allies' actions after his 2020 election defeat.
"Senator Graham has never inserted himself into the electoral process in Georgia, and has never attempted to alter the outcome of any election," Graham's attorneys wrote Tuesday in court papers filed in South Carolina. "The talk was about absentee ballots and Georgia's procedures."
Graham was one of a handful of Trump confidants and lawyers named in petitions filed last week by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of her investigation into what she alleges was "a multi-state, coordinated plan" to influence the results of the 2020 election.
In her subpoena petition, Willis wrote that Graham, a longtime Trump ally, made at least two telephone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and members of his staff in the weeks after Trump's loss to Biden, asking about reexamining certain absentee ballots "to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump."
After their call, Raffensperger told the Washington Post that Graham had asked him whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, a question the official said he interpreted as Graham's suggestion to toss out legally cast votes, an allegation Graham at the time called "ridiculous."
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