Lindsey Graham, Nearly Indicted in Trump Election Case, Claims He Was Just Doing His Job by Asking Georgia About Throwing Out Ballots
Remember when Lindsey Graham phoned up a top Georgia official after the 2020 election and suggested, according to that official, that mail-in ballots be thrown out—which would have coincidentally benefited his good pal Donald Trump, who made a similar, even more incriminating call just weeks later? Well, on Friday, we learned that a special grand jury had recommended Graham be charged as part of the RICO case against Trump. His response? I was just doing my job! Note: None of what the senator did is actually part of his job.
Nevertheless, Graham boldly claimed that he made a “responsible decision” when he rang up Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger in November 2020 for a chat about mail-in ballots. “What I did was consistent with my job as being a United States senator, chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” Graham told reporters today. “I think the system in this country is getting off the rails, and we have to be careful not to use the legal system as a political tool.” He added that he was shocked to learn that a special grand jury that met from June to December of last year—and made charging recommendations to Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis—had voted 13-7 that he should be prosecuted. “I was totally surprised,” Graham said, adding, “I never suggested anybody set aside the election. I never said, ‘go find votes.’ I never said anything other than trying to find how the mail-in balloting system worked.”
Of course, according to Raffensperger, Graham did not merely phone him up for a primer on how “how the mail-in balloting system work[s].” Rather, Raffensperger has said, Graham suggested throwing out all mail-in ballots in counties with high rates of nonmatching signatures. Speaking to The Washington Post in 2020, Raffensperger said he was stunned by the proposal. Luckily for Graham, his calls to the Georgia official were not recorded—a factor that The New York Times notes, “probably figured in the decision not to charge” him. As for Graham’s emphasis on the fact that he never told anyone to “go find votes,” that’s not actually something he’s been accused of. But if he thinks such a demand sounds very bad and possibly illegal, he should be extremely worried about Trump, who was, in fact, recorded saying that. (Editor’s note: Trump is on tape telling Raffensperger, “I just want to find 11,780 votes,” which is actually a lot worse given that it’s the precise number he needed to overturn his loss in Georgia.)
Graham is not the only person the special grand jury recommended charging who ultimately got off scot-free. Others on the list, which was unsealed by a judge on Friday, included former senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler; disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn; and former Trump lawyers Boris Epshteyn, Cleta Mitchell, and Lin Wood.
Just to be clear, Graham will not be removing his head from Trump’s ass