On August 4, 2022, Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP attorneys – along with States United Democracy Center and Jonathan L. Williams, P.A. – filed an amicus brief in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia opposing US Senator Lindsey Graham’s motion to quash the subpoena issued to him as part of an ongoing Fulton County special grand jury investigation. This investigation is focused on measures taken by former President Donald Trump and his allies to unlawfully influence the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Our amicus brief was filed on behalf of former federal prosecutors and explains why Senator Graham’s arguments under the Speech or Debate Clause do not afford a basis to quash the subpoena:
“[Graham] asserts that his calls to Georgia officials in the weeks following the election were legislative acts, and that any inquiry into any aspect of his conduct thus offends the Constitution . . . This argument faces numerous difficulties: it fails to account for important limits on the scope of the legislative privilege created by the Speech or Debate Clause; it fails to adhere to key methodological precepts of Speech or Debate Clause analysis; it fails to recognize that the subpoena seeks testimony about several categories of conduct beyond the scope of the Clause; and it overlooks public factual disputes, as well as factual representations set forth in the subpoena itself.”
The brief also highlights that the District Attorney’s subpoena is narrowly targeted and seeks specific evidence from Senator Graham that is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.
At a hearing on the motion to quash on August 10, a federal district court judge gave both parties until later in the week to respond to the arguments made in the amicus brief and indicated that a ruling would be issued shortly after that.
The brief was signed by Donald B. Ayer, John Farmer, Renato Mariotti, Sarah R. Saldaña, William F. Weld, and Shan Wu.
The Kaplan Hecker team was led by partners Joshua Matz and Ray Tolentino, and included associates Jacqueline Sahlberg and Anna Collins Peterson. This amicus brief is another example of Kaplan Hecker’s continued commitment to protecting the freedom and fairness of our democratic process, at the local, state, and national level.
Read the full brief here.