Appeals court temporarily pauses order requiring Graham to appear before Atlanta-area grand jury

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is photographed during a speech on April 15, 2019.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is photographed during a speech on April 15, 2019.(Glenn Fawcett / CBP)
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 10:45 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily paused a district court’s order requiring that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appear before a grand jury probing plots to illegally influence the 2020 election results in Georgia.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals sent the proceedings around the Fulton County grand jury subpoena back to the district court judge with the instruction that the judge consider whether the subpoena should be partially quashed or modified in accordance with the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.

The constitutional provision shields lawmakers from certain law enforcement actions in some scenarios. Graham had pointed to it in his challenge to the Fulton County subpoena, which demanded he testify on Tuesday.

The appeals court panel -- made up of Circuit Judges Charles Wilson, Kevin Newsom and Britt Grant -- said in its order that the district court could expedite the briefing around modifying the subpoena in a manner that the judge “deems appropriate.” The appeals court said that after that question is resolved, the matter will return back before the appeals court for further consideration.