Speed Reads

Temporary win

Clarence Thomas grants Lindsey Graham's request to block subpoena for testimony in Georgia election probe

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas approved a temporary block on a subpoena requiring Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to testify before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, CNBC reports. Thomas approved the hold days after Graham's legal team petitioned the Supreme Court to delay his appearance before the grand jury.

Thomas' decision indicates Graham's luck may be changing after numerous attempts to quash the subpoena failed. In September, a federal judge denied Graham's request to block the court order. However, she did rule that investigators could not question him about "investigatory fact-finding on telephone calls to Georgia election officials." Last week a federal appeals court panel unanimously voted to uphold that decision, refusing to quell the grand jury's request. 

Thomas acted alone in deciding to approve Graham's request because the lower court that issued the subpoena is in his jurisdiction, per CNN. The court has requested a response from Georgia investigators by Thursday. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis oversees the special grand jury investigation into the efforts of former president Donald Trump and his allies to alter the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Officials want to ask Graham about phone calls he made to Georgia election officials after the ballots closed, CNN reports. 

Graham is arguing that he is protected from testifying due to the Speech or Debate clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bars law enforcement from taking action against legislators for conduct connected to their assigned duties.