UPDATE: Donald Trump Catches a Break as SCOTUS Justice Thomas Freezes Order for Lindsey Graham to Testify Over 2020 Election Interference
Senator Lindsey Graham must testify, according to a court which denied his request to stay a subpoena over an investigation into election interference in Georgia, centered on former POTUS Donald Trump.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may have just handed Donald Trump a huge reprieve.
CNN reports, “Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday agreed to temporarily freeze a lower court order requiring the testimony of Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in front of an Atlanta-area special grand jury that is investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state.
Thomas acted alone because he has jurisdiction of the lower court that issued the original order.
Thomas’ move is an administrative stay that was most likely issued Monday to give the Supreme Court justices more time to consider the dispute.”
Georgia investigators must respond by Thursday.
Original story continues below:
Donald Trump is facing increasing legal peril this week after a court denied a request from Senator Lindsey Graham to stay a subpoena for an investigation into 2020 election interference in Georgia.
A grand jury is currently investigating whether or not the former POTUS committed crimes in an effort to interfere in the southern state’s 2020 election results, and Graham is at the center of that investigation.
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Donald Trump News Looks Bleak, but Graham Hopes the SCOTUS Comes Through
Graham filed a request to stay an order compelling him to testify over the investigation into election interference, pending his appeal of the original subpoena. In his legal argument, Graham claims that testifying would violate the speech and debate clause of the U.S. Constitution, which protects members of Congress from legal risk from their comments related to legislative business.
According to Graham’s lawyer, his call to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was part of a legislative inquiry.
But the grand jury wants to speak to him anyway, believing that what he knew and what Trump wanted him to do may be key to understanding the entire scheme that may have occurred during efforts to overturn the lawful election results.
CNBC writes, “Among other things, a prosecutor presenting evidence to the Fulton County grand jury wants to question Graham about a phone call he had with Georgia’s top election official and talks he had with the Trump campaign on the heels of Election Day 2020, when Trump and his allies were trying to overturn his loss in that state to President Joe Biden.”
But a federal appeals court panel rejected Graham’s request unanimously on Thursday.
In its ruling Thursday, the 11th Circuit panel said, “Senator Graham has failed to demonstrate that he is likely to succeed on the merits of his appeal.”
Now, Graham is likely to take his request to the Supreme Court of the United States and hope that they will rule in his favor.
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Donald Trump is Worn Down by Ongoing Dueling Investigations
This week, a report surfaced that Donald Trump was possibly willing to invite FBI agents to Mar-a-Lago to investigate and disprove their claims that some classified documents are still missing.
According to those familiar with the situation, Trump is tired of the legal woes closing in from every direction. And those in his orbit see Mar-a-Lago as a big “nothing burger” that they want to just wrap up and move on from.
CNN reports, “The possibility of allowing federal officials to return to Trump’s property – likely with Trump’s own lawyers present – is just one option on the table as the Trump team grapples with how best to protect the former President from legal jeopardy. No firm decisions have been made while sources familiar with the situation say Trump’s legal team is continuing to weigh how accommodating or adversarial they should be toward the Justice Department.
‘It’s a risk to invite a DOJ lawyer to lunch let alone back to Mar-a-Lago,’ said a person close to Trump.
In the throes of multiple legal battles and hoping to alleviate some of the pressure he is facing, Trump has recently signaled to aides and allies that he is open to a less adversarial approach toward the Justice Department – one that might swiftly resolve the records issue after weeks of contentious court proceedings, according to people familiar with the situation.”
It’s a sign of how truly exhausted Trump is as he faces the federal investigation into classified documents in Florida, the grand jury investigation in Georgia over election interference, a civil lawsuit in New York over Trump Organization, and more – all while trying to shore up his prospects for a 2024 presidential run.
Trump May Hope for 2024 Run to Provide Some Protection From Investigations
Conservative lawyer George Conway has said that he believes Trump will run in 2024, if only to protect himself from the cascade of legal woes crashing down around him.
Business Insider reports, “Conway made an appearance on CNN on Wednesday with former Trump communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin.
‘He will run for president, in effect, for protection against these legal proceedings, but there’s just gonna be too many of them,’ Conway said.
‘You know, I think he might get the nomination anyway, but I think we will see the meltdown to end all meltdowns of a public figure,’ Conway added.”
Griffin added that Trump’s plan to invite the FBI back to Mar-a-Lago “reeks of desperation.” She continued, “This man is cornered at every turn and he’s not surrounded by wise legal council, so I think you’re gonna see further acts of desperation from him.”
But whether or not the 2024 run would provide any actual protection is something experts disagree on.
Presidents themselves are protected from a certain amount of legal jeopardy, but not necessarily former Presidents – and not necessarily Presidential hopefuls.
It’s unlikely Trump will retake the White House before these investigations conclude, and running alone may not be enough.