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‘No Basis’: Federal Judge Denies Lindsey Graham’s ‘Unpersuasive’ Attempt to Evade Grand Jury Subpoena

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For the second time this week a federal judge has denied U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham‘s attempt to evade a grand jury subpoena requiring him to testify in the investigation of Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, calling his legal argument “unpersuasive.”

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May Friday afternoon responded to Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis’ request to order the GOP Senator from South Carolina to appear before the Special Purpose Grand Jury (SPGJ).

“Senator Graham’s arguments are entirely unpersuasive,” Judge May writes, as Politico’s Kyle Cheney notes, “and they do not even demonstrate a ‘substantial case on the merits.’ As an initial matter, Senator Graham takes issue with the Court’s recognition that his sole request-to quash the subpoena in its entirety–was built largely (if not entirely) on the premise that Senator Graham will only be questioned about the phone calls, which Senator Graham characterizes as legitimate legislative factfinding exercises and thus completely protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.”

READ MORE: ‘Direct Personal Knowledge’: Federal Judge Denies Lindsey Graham’s Request to Quash Subpoena Ordering Him to Testify

“Instead, Senator Graham maintains that he believes that the ‘other topics’ will simply be used as a ‘backdoor’ for questioning him about the phone calls,” the judge adds. “The problem for Senator Graham is that the record thoroughly contradicts his suggestion that the District Attorney and grand jury simply wish to use questions on other topics as a ‘backdoor’ to asking him about the legislative fact- finding on the phone calls.”

Judge May found Sen. Graham had “no basis” to claim he should not be ordered to testify, and ordered him to testify on August 23.

“The Court finds no basis for concluding that its holdings as to these issues are likely to be reversed on the merits,” Judge May wrote. “Holding otherwise would allow any sitting senator to shield all manner of potential criminal conduct occurring during a phone call merely by asserting the purpose of the call was legislative fact-finding-no matter whether the call subsequently took a different turn.”

Graham still has other avenues to use to try to evade the lawful subpoena.

READ MORE: ‘Should Expect to Be Indicted’: Giuliani Now Target of Georgia DA Investigation Into Efforts to Overturn Election – Report

As Politico’s Kyle Cheney, who broke this development notes, “the question of a stay rests with the appeals court, which received Graham’s case yesterday.”

Judge May appears to strongly agree with DA Willis’ assessment. The judge writes, “the public interest is well-served when a lawful investigation aimed at uncovering the facts and circumstances of alleged attempts to disrupt or influence Georgia’s elections is allowed to proceed without unnecessary encumbrances.”

In her motion Friday morning Willis wrote, “Senator Graham insists that he seeks to delay his appearance before the Special Purpose Grand Jury not just for his own sake, but also for the sake of the separation of powers, federalism, and ‘for the People.’”

“The Special Purpose Grand Jury, however, is the People,” Willis eloquently explained, “a collection of citizens called together to perform their civic duty on behalf of their neighbors and families. They have sacrificed their time, effort, energy, and attention for months in order to investigate matters that affect themselves, their community, and the nation as a whole. The District Attorney asks that this Court deny Senator Graham’s motion in order that he, for a single day, can assist them in that great task without further delay. The People have requested Senator Graham’s testimony and stand ready to receive it. All that is left is for the Senator to meet them.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Speaker Pelosi Excitedly Announces House Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Protection Bill – 169 Republicans Vote No

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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriages at the federal level and requires states to recognize those marriages if they were legal at the time they were entered into. The legislation comes after far right Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for cases to overturn rulings that made constitutional contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.

The final vote was 258-169. All Democrats voted yes, 39 Republicans joined the Democrats, but 169 Republicans voted no.

The bill now heads to President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law.

RELATED: Far Right Republican Slammed by Raskin for Trying to Derail Respect for Marriage Bill with Failed Religious Amendment

Far right House Republicans who have built their political careers by attacking the LGBTQ community, voiced extremist attacks on the bill.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) broke down in tears as she begged her colleagues to vote against protecting the marriages of same-sex and interracial couples.

Hartzler, first elected to Congress in 2010, has been a spokesperson for a Missouri anti-LGBTQ organization, and worked to block passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) equated same-sex marriages with polygamy, bestiality, and “child marriage.”

READ MORE: Marco Rubio Lashes Out Against Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Bill After His Attempt to Create Special Religious Rights Fails

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in one of her final acts in that role, gaveled in the vote.

Watch below or at this link.

 

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BREAKING NEWS

‘She Is Safe – She Is on Her Way Home’: Biden Announces Release of Brittney Griner in US Coordinated Prisoner Swap

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President Joe Biden Thursday morning announced the United States has arranged for the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, held for months by Russia and recently sent to a prison work camp, known as a penal colony or “gulag.”

“Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones,” President Biden said, with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, by his side.

“Moments ago, standing together with her wife Cherelle in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner,” President Biden told Americans. “She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances. Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”

READ MORE: Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Author Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges: DOJ

After President Biden’s remarks, Cherelle Griner spoke, saying, “Today my family is whole.”

Biden noted that Griner had written to him, saying she asked for no special treatment, just to remember her and other prisoners, including Paul Whelan.

“We’ve not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who’s been unjustly detained in Russia for years,” Biden said during his remarks Thursday morning. Whelan, a former Marine, is accused of spying by Russia.

The President complimented Griner, saying she has shown “grit” and “dignity,” and “represents the best about America.”

Griner was arrested in Russia on smuggling charges in February.

The U.S. State Dept. in May announced Griner had been “wrongfully detained,” and stepped up efforts to get her released.

READ MORE: ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ Legal Experts Stunned as More Trump Classified Docs Discovered – at a Florida Storage Facility

The Biden administration traded Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in what CNBC called “one of the most high-profile prisoner swaps between Moscow and Washington since the Cold War.”

Over the summer Donald Trump, siding with Russia, strongly suggested he would not have worked to get Griner released. The disgraced ex-president called the WNBA star and Olympic gold medal winner “spoiled,” and wrongly claimed she had entered Russia “loaded up with drugs.”

Watch videos of President Biden’s and Cherelle Griner’s remarks above, his full remarks below, or at this link:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

J6 Committee Announces Plan for Final Report

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is wrapping up its 17-month long investigation and has announced its plan for its final report.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) Wednesday evening told reporters the committee will issue a final report in two weeks, on December 21. A “formal presentation” will accompany the final report, Axios’ Andrew Solender reports.

What form the presentation will take is unclear. Presumably it will not be a primetime televised hearing.

READ MORE: In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info

CNN’s Annie Grayer adds the criminal referrals Thompson previously announced the committee would be making will also be released on the 21st.

Chairman Thompson told reporters, “there will be some form of public presentation. We haven’t decided exactly what that would be,” Grayer says.

NBC reporters say that date is “a bit later than the committee was hoping and it forced some members and staff to change holiday plans.”

READ MORE: Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Author Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges: DOJ

“In addition to considering a referral involving former President Donald Trump,” NBC News reports, “the committee could offer contempt of Congress referrals for fellow members who have ignored its subpoenas, for witnesses it believes lied to its investigators and for individuals it believes attempted to intimidate witnesses in the probe.”

“The report will be a massive compilation of the work the committee has done for the last year and a half, outlining its findings and offering up recommendations and possible legislation to prevent something like the Jan. 6 attack from happening again. Thompson has said the document could be up to eight chapters.”

 

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