ATLANTA — In a setback for Senator Lindsey Graham, a federal judge ruled on Thursday that prosecutors can ask him about certain elements of his November 2020 phone calls with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state. Mr. Raffensperger has said that in those calls, Mr. Graham suggested rejecting mail-in votes in the presidential election from counties with high rates of questionable signatures.
The order from U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May must now be taken up for consideration by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the latest twist in a protracted legal drama in which Mr. Graham has sought to avoid appearing before a special grand jury in Atlanta that is investigating efforts by Donald J. Trump and his allies to overturn Mr. Trump’s narrow loss in the state in 2020.
Mr. Graham’s phone calls to Mr. Raffensperger were followed, weeks later, by a call from Mr. Trump himself, who asked Mr. Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes to put him over the top.