Saxby Chambliss Smudges Camera Lens
Chambliss, in the fight of his political life to retain his Georgia Senate seat, is refusing to testify in a case brought by victims of a deadly explosion in a sugar refinery. The issue is whether he worked to protect the company from blame in the February 7 explosion that killed 14 workers and injured dozens of others.
[Savannah attorney Mark] Tate says he wants to know if Imperial Sugar executives persuaded Chambliss to sharply criticize a company whistle-blower during a July Senate hearing on the explosion. He says he also wants the senator to respond to plaintiffs’ claims that the company arranged a meeting between Chambliss and victims’ families to dissuade them from suing.
Chambliss’s spokesperson, Michelle Hitt Grasso, says he denies these allegations, and that he doesn’t have to testify.
Grasso said Senate attorneys have told Chambliss he is immune from submitting to a deposition under the “speech or debate” clause of the Constitution, which shields members of Congress from testifying about legislative business in private lawsuits.
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