Graham’s relationship with Trump is back to bite him


Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) achieved new heights for political celebrities during the Trump era, but is currently in the midst of a criminal investigation related to the Georgia battle in the 2020 presidential election. ..

Fulton County’s special grand jury summons Graham along with other Trump insiders as part of an investigation into potential criminal interference in the 2020 elections in Georgia, where Joe Biden won slightly with 12,670 votes. Did.

Graham’s lawyer issued a statement Wednesday, claiming that South Carolina senators were or were not the subject of the investigation, accusing them of being a “fishing expedition.”

His lawyers, Bad Daniel and Matt Austin, said they would fight the subpoena in court, raising the possibility of a protracted court battle.

“As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham was within the right to discuss the process and procedure for managing elections with state authorities. If the summons issued today were to balance the constitutional forces. It will undermine the ability of Senators to perform their duties. ” “Sen. Graham will appear in court and challenge the subpoena and hope to win.”

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that it would respond in appropriate courts to force Graham to appear if necessary.

Democrats say Graham’s actions after Trump’s slight loss of Georgia are extremely rare and appear to deviate from normal Senate surveillance procedures.

Graham called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger shortly after Biden barely carried the state to ask him about the validity of thousands of ballots.

What surprised Senate insiders was that Graham contacted Rafence Purger directly, rather than letting staff handle what Senator explained as an information gathering mission.

“It’s certainly alarming that US Senators are being asked about the events surrounding Donald Trump’s efforts to put pressure on Georgia authorities to overturn the election results,” said a democratic strategist. Said Ray Zaccaro, a former senator who worked on the election rights law.

“Linsey Graham does not represent Georgia. Lindsey Graham has an official legislative role, but he is neither an investigator, an election official, a presidential lawyer, nor a presidential representative. No, “he said.

“It wasn’t the way the Commission did any kind of oversight,” Zaccaro said, although Graham was chairing the Judiciary Committee at the time.

“It was certainly unusual and unorthodox,” he said. “As far as I know as chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time, nothing deserves its involvement in his role.”

Graham’s legal team states that he is not the subject or subject of a criminal election interference investigation, but his involvement in the investigation questioned whether he could one day face criminal liability. Throw.

Stanley Brand, a former lawyer in the House of Representatives and an expert in parliamentary ethics, can seek protection under the Constitution’s “speech and debate” clause, which prevents lawmakers from being arrested during public service. Said.

“I definitely think there’s a lot of speech and debate here. It was going to be voted on, so internal discussions with colleagues are also important,” he said, and Graham had previously Rafensper. He said he contacted Gar. He and other senators were trying to vote against Biden’s proof of victory on January 6.

However, Brand said the proceedings have become more ambiguous due to interactions with Graham’s state officials outside Congress itself.

“The more difficult question is how well his conversation with La Fence Purger will be covered,” he said.

Brand said the judiciary was responsible for oversight, but in a 1972 gravel v. He said it indicates that he will do it. Speech and debate clauses.

“It’s almost a question-by-question decision,” he said, explaining that the protection of speeches and debate clauses is largely determined by how the court decides.

Some Democrats say January 6 for Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and prosecute members of Trump’s inner circle in connection with efforts to prevent Biden’s 2020 victory. We believe that we will act based on the findings of this committee.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation last month searched the home of former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark. He persuaded Trump to appoint him as the head of justice, allowing him to send falsely alleged letters to Georgia’s election authorities, according to recent testimony in Congress. The Justice Department had “identified serious concerns” about the state’s election outcomes.

Other Trump allies summoned by Fulton County DA have actively participated in a strategy to suspend Biden’s proof of victory, according to testimony released by the House Selection Commission. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s private lawyer, and other Trump Alliance lawyers John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis, and Kenneth Cesebro also received subpoenas.

Georgia’s chief election officer, Rafence Purger, was surprised that Graham seemed to be proposing to find a way to throw away legally cast ballots, Graham said. I told the Washington Post shortly after calling.

Graham at the time claimed that Lafence Purger was “ridiculous” and was merely trying to understand how Georgia’s election law works.

“The main question for me is how to protect the integrity of voting by mail and how signature verification works,” he said.

More than a year and a half later, the claim has been closely monitored by DA Fani Willis, Congress and media colleagues in Fulton County.

A systematic and collaborative effort by Trump allies to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory since the news was reported that Graham had contacted Georgia’s absentee vote twice to consider potential fraud. More evidence was released through a Commission investigation by House Select January 6th to show that there was.

The close relationship between Graham and Trump and regular access to the president casts doubt on Senator’s allegations that he participated in fact-finding missions without any intention of putting any pressure on the election authorities.

Issac J. Bailey, a professor of public policy and communications research at Davidson College in North Carolina, said Graham initially kept Trump at arm length during the 2016 elections, but was later drawn to his power. Said that.

He said the close relationship between Graham and Trump prompted him to call the Georgian election authorities.

“Old Lindsey Graham would never have been in this position and would never have jumped on the phone to pressure lawmakers in another state to influence the outcome of the election,” Bailey told Hill. ..

“At first he held Trump right at arm length, and after screaming right for the dangers many of us saw in 2016, he abandoned them all to get into Trump’s good grace,” he said. Said.

In any case, given Trump’s immense popularity in South Carolina, Republican strategists do not believe Graham has been politically damaged at home.

“Due to the nature of South Carolina voters, especially Republicans and the typical Republican voters in South Carolina, it’s unclear if the simple act of being involved in this would hurt Graham. With Congress at Clemson University. James Walner, a former Republican aide to the Senate who teaches about the American Constitution, said:

Walner said the legal implications are difficult to predict.

“It’s a different story to come, and you can’t write that chapter until you get there,” he said.

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