Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday criticized a report that a Georgia grand jury recommended indicting him, saying he was just doing his job and that the law was “weaponized.”
Graham has repeatedly argued that as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was interested in cases of possible voter fraud, which is why he contacted officials in Georgia and other states to following the 2020 elections.
Donald Trump falsely claimed at the time to be the victim of electoral fraud. Graham is a staunch Trump supporter.
“We cannot criminalize senators for doing their job when they have a constitutional requirement to fulfill. It would be irresponsible of me, in my opinion, as chairman of the commission, not to try to find out what happened,” he said. WYFF News in South Carolina, where he spoke with reporters from his home state.
Sen. Lindsey Graham defended himself against reports that a Georgia grand jury wanted to indict him, saying it was simply investigating allegations of voter fraud.
Graham echoed Trump’s argument that the government is “used as a weapon” against the people.
“I am very worried about the country at the moment. I was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This election has been challenged in court and in several states. I had to explain my vote to the people of South Carolina. I had to decide whether or not to hold a hearing on the allegations in Georgia and elsewhere. I called to different states, including Georgia,” he said.
“Many people in this country believe that the law has become a political weapon. We will see what happens in these cases,” he noted.
The Fulton County grand jury recommended charges against Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, in GeorgiaThe election case of, new court documents showed Friday.
Graham said he had not heard from any Georgia officials and had heard about the grand jury’s recommendation on television.
“I was totally surprised,” he noted.
“We’re opening Pandora’s box,” Graham said. “I think the system in this country is going off the rails and we have to be careful not to use the legal system as a political tool.”
Graham, in the weeks following the 2020 election, called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Raffensperger said he interpreted questions about whether some mail-in ballots could be rejected as a suggestion to reject legally cast votes.
But Graham said Friday, “I asked him about the mail-in voting process. I never asked him to throw out the ballots or anything else.
“After the conversation, I decided it was best for me to vote to certify the election because I didn’t have the confidence to overturn it,” he said.
“But the phone call I had with him was made from my office in Washington with my team,” he noted.
Lindsey Graham is a strong Trump supporter, seen above with then-President Donald Trump in South Carolina in January 2023.
Graham noted that he voted to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory on Jan. 6, the same day of the insurrection at the Capitol. As a senator, he had to vote to approve the election results in each state.
“I voted to certify the election. To suggest that I am part of a grand scheme to overturn the election makes no sense, given my actions. This shows where we are more than anything else. This is me today. It could be someone else tomorrow.
“I feel comfortable with my vote to certify the election. I feel comfortable with the questions I asked. In the end, I did my job. And the day it becomes criminalized, it will be very bad for the country,” he added.
In newly released court documents, Georgia grand jurors also recommended charges against Michael Flynn, who had served as Trump’s national security adviser, and Georgia’s two former Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, as well as lawyers Lin Wood and Cleta Mitchell, were also named, according to the report.
It is unclear why none of them were charged or what charges they may have faced.
The original indictment against Trump and 18 other co-defendants included details implicating 30 “unindicted co-conspirators” — people who Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis said participated in the criminal conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 elections.
Graham said he still supports Trump for president.
“I stand with President Trump. I proudly support it. He may be many times, but I thought he was a good president,” he said.
“I’m not going to let that dissuade me from campaigning for him and working with him.”
Graham fought not to testify before the Georgia grand jury and was ultimately ordered to do so by the Supreme Court.
The grand jury spent seven months hearing from some 75 witnesses before completing its report. in December with recommendations to Willis on charges related to attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The special grand jury did not have the power to bring charges, but Willis used the evidence collected to seek an indictment from a regular grand jury.
Here’s who else the grand jury recommended indicting:
DAVID PERDUE and KELLY LOEFFLER
Perdue was running for re-election to the Senate in a special election in January 2021.
Trump was campaigning for him, but also falsely claiming he won the presidential election and was the victim of voter fraud.
Perdue personally urged Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to call a special session of the legislature to help Trump overturn the election.
Loeffler was present at this meeting.
She participated in the second round of elections in January 2021 which she ultimately lost.
Trump also campaigned for her.
Losing these two seats gave Democrats control of the Senate.
Flynn, like Graham, was forced to testify before the grand jury.
In mid-December 2020, Flynn told a right-wing news channel that Trump “could take military capabilities” and place them in swing states and “basically run elections in each of those states.”
Flynn also met at the White House on December 18, 2020 with Trump, attorney Sidney Powell and other Trump campaign associates for a meeting “focused on topics including invoking martial law, seizing machinery to vote and the appointment of Powell as special advisor. to investigate the 2020 election,” Willis wrote in his document asking Flynn to testify.
And he attended meetings in November 2020 at the home of conservative lawyer Lin Wood in South Carolina. Wood also testified before the grand jury. He was looking for ways to influence the election results in Georgia.
Boris Epshteyn also testified before the grand jury.
He served as Trump’s attorney and the request for his testimony stated that he “possesses unique knowledge regarding the logistics, planning and execution of the Trump campaign’s efforts to submit false voting certificates to the former Vice President Michael Pence and others.
Cleta Mitchell advised Trump in a phone call with Georgia state officials after the 2020 election, during which he urged them to find evidence that could overturn the state’s results.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered partial release of the report in February but declined to immediately release the committee’s recommendations on who should or should not be prosecuted. The judge said at the time that he wanted to protect people’s due process rights.
McBurney said in a new order filed Aug. 28 that due process concerns were moot since a regular grand jury indicted Trump and 18 others under the state’s anti-racketeering law. They all pleaded not guilty.
Parts of the report previously released in February included its introduction and conclusion, as well as a section in which grand jurors expressed concerns that one or more witnesses may have lied under oath and urged prosecutors to file charges for perjury. The jury foreman said in media interviews that special grand jurors recommended that many people be indicted.
Fani Willis, Fulton County Prosecutor
Court documents newly released Friday also mention the jury’s concerns about lies: “A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed 15 by one or more witnesses testifying before it. The Grand Jury recommends that the 16 District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes 17 when the evidence is compelling.’