'Did my due diligence': Graham again defends actions including pressuring Georgia to 'toss' ballots
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is again defending his intervention into the 2020 presidential election in Georgia after the release of a report showing the Fulton County special grand jury had recommended criminal charges against him, which District Attorney Fani Willis declined to pursue.
While Graham’s new statement frames his post-election actions in 2020 as working on behalf of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chaired, news reports at the time revealed extensive efforts behind the scenes in Georgia by the South Carolina Republican.
“Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and other Republicans have reportedly pressured Georgia secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to toss out legal ballots as part of their increasingly desperate efforts to contest Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the presidential election,” New York Magazine reported on November 17, 2020.
The Washington Post, one day earlier, had reported that it had interviewed Raffensperger, who “said he spoke … to Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has echoed Trump’s unfounded claims about voting irregularities.”
Graham had “asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.”
“Graham questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.”
On Friday afternoon, after repeatedly defending himself on camera to news reporters, Graham issued a statement, according to WIS News, that reads:
“As the then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I had to decide whether to hold a hearing regarding the allegations of election misconduct in Georgia and other locations, as well as whether to certify the election results.
“I had questions, as did many others, about how the mail ballot process worked in Georgia and other locations. I did my due diligence. At the end of the day, I voted to certify the election results from every state including Georgia.
“It should never be a crime for a federal elected official, particularly the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will have to vote to certify a presidential election, to question and ensure the integrity of that election.”
Earlier Friday, Graham defended his actions by saying two other U.S. Senators had also attempted to intervene.
The special grand jury had also recommended criminal charges against those two other Senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
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