Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is trying to find a way to explain accusations he asked Georgia’s Secretary of State to toss mail-in ballots in certain counties. But the more Graham tries to clean up this mess, the deeper the hole seems to get. Brad Raffensperger told CBS (watch above):
“Sen. Graham implied for us to audit the envelopes and then throw out the ballots for counties that had the highest frequency error of signatures.”
Graham denied Raffensperger’s story, but a second GOP source came forward today to say that he too was on the call and backed up the Secretary of State’s account.
Looks like Georgia's voting system implementation manager @GabrielSterling, a Republican, was the Georgia election official on the Graham-Raffensperger call.
He corroborates Raffensperger's perspective: https://t.co/dNqTiyAtxX
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) November 17, 2020
Politico’s Jake Sherman also writes that Graham had to backtrack on another claim he made this morning:
Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC just told a group of reporters in the capitol that he’s also spoken to Secretaries of State in Nevada and Arizona. This is in addition to the sos in Georgia. He said he’s doing it as a senator who is worried about election integrity.
But shortly after that statement, Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobb’s replied, “This is false. I have not spoken with @LindseyGrahamSC”
Then Graham offered up another clarification.
Just followed up with Graham: he says he spoke to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and someone else in Nevada, *not* the Secretaries of State in AZ and NV.
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) November 17, 2020
Graham’s actions are now raising concerns on Capitol Hill and beyond with calls for an investigation by Congress. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin writes, “Depending on the facts… any number of laws might be implicated.”
Federal and/or state law enforcement should get to the bottom of this, requiring both parties to the conversation, and any witnesses, to preserve evidence.
Rubin cites this quote from Stephen I. Vladeck, an election law guru and University of Texas law professor:
“At least as relayed in the Post story, Sen. Graham appears to have been attempting to convince Secretary Raffensperger to alter the valid results of Georgia’s election — in a manner that may run afoul of numerous provisions of Georgia election law… At the very least, it’s a serious matter that might warrant further investigation — and that is grossly unbecoming of any United States senator, let alone the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
This is what we in the legal world call a felony. https://t.co/GQry7GO2fl
— Andrew Weissmann (@AWeissmann_) November 16, 2020
— Kurt "Mask Up, Vote Early" Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) November 17, 2020