Eight of Spades: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC): “Most Pathetic Man in America?”

 

Georgia panel urged criminal charges against Lindsey Graham and other Trump allies

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Attorney Cleta Mitchell, and former Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were also among those who were recommended for indictments.

Sen. Lindsey Graham came under scrutiny for his efforts to contact Georgia election officials after the 2020 election and press them on vote-counting procedures while in the middle of an ongoing recount. | Francis Chung/POLITICO

A special grand jury convened by Georgia prosecutors recommended criminal indictments of Sen. Lindsey Graham and a slew of other allies of Donald Trump who have not been charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, according to a report unsealed Friday.

The special grand jury, which led a year-long investigation of efforts to subvert the 2020 election in Georgia, helped Willis compile a massive trove of evidence that she used to secure a sprawling indictment last month against Trump and 18 alleged co-conspirators, including Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and others.

But the special grand jury report, which was filed in December but had been largely kept confidential until Friday, shows that a majority of the panel urged her to indict a much wider array of figures linked to the effort.

They include:

  • Graham, the South Carolina senator who came under scrutiny for his efforts to contact Georgia election officials after the election
  • Former senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia
  • Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn
  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn
  • Attorney Cleta Mitchell

In Tuesday’s filing, Shafer underscored that the strategy was driven almost entirely by lawyers acting on Trump’s behalf.  The false electors were later used by Trump allies to attempt to foment a conflict on Jan. 6, 2021 and derail the transfer of power to President Joe Biden.

Shafer is among the 18 defendants indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, alongside Trump as part of a conspiracy to subvert the 2020 election.

 

 

The Corruption of Lindsey Graham

A case study in the rise of authoritarianism.

MAY 9, 2023

https://specialto.thebulwark.com/p/the-corruption-of-lindsey-graham

 

Ep. 1: The Corruption of Lindsey Graham

JULY 3, 2023

Ep. 1: The Corruption of Lindsey Graham

July 17, 2023

Ep. 3: The Corruption of Lindsey Graham

 

https://www.thebulwark.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/The-Corruption-of-Lindsey-Graham.pdf

 

‘It’s Not a Short List’: Trump Probe Grand Jury to Recommend Slew of Indictments

“You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science,” the forewoman said when asked if they’ll ask for the former president to be charged

A Georgia grand jury investigating whether Donald Trump and some of his prominent allies meddled in the state’s 2020 presidential election will recommend a series of indictments on various charges, according to a report from The New York Times. “It’s not a short list,” jury forewoman Emily Kohrs said of the list of indictment recommendations, which remains sealed.“You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science,” Kohrs added when asked if the jury would be recommending an indictment against Trump. The names and specific charges being recommended by the grand jury have yet to be made public, but Kohrs indicated to the Times that “if the judge releases the recommendations, it is not going to be some giant plot twist.”The grand jury previously indicated that it suspected several witnesses of having committed perjury throughout the course of their investigation. Since Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis convened the grand jury last year, it has subpoenaed several Trump allies, including Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Lindsey Graham, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. [Boldface added]

The grand jury also subpoenaed the “fake electors” who participated in the scheme to overturn the election results. Willis informed all 16 of them last year that they are also targets in the investigation. Trump is also a target The former president pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes necessary to flip the state to him. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said just days before the election was certified.

It’s hard to know exactly what to make of Kohrs comment that onlookers won’t be shocked by the grand jury’s decision about whether to recommend Trump be indicted, but there certainly seems to be plenty of evidence that he played a role in the effort to overturn the state’s election results.

The grand jury’s recommendations are only that, however. It does not possess the power to directly indict individuals. Willis will make the final determination about whom to charge.

 

Georgia Grand Jury Recommends Indictments for Witnesses In Trump Election Case

The report doesn’t say whether Trump himself should be indicted for interfering in the 2020 election, but jurors said witnesses who lied about what happened should be prosecuted.

 

Senator Lindsay Graham Inexcusably Claims Without Evidence Voter Fraud in Nevada Senate Election

So irresponsible:

On a Republican conference call Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), went so far as to suggest fraud in Nevada if Laxalt isn’t declared the winner. The midday call was hosted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“There is no mathematical way Laxalt loses,” Graham said on the call. “If he does, then it’s a lie.”

No evidence of election fraud has emerged and independent analysts have been expecting Cortez Masto to take the lead for days based on the number of outstanding mail votes in the most Democratic part of the state.

So those who thought that Graham would be responsible in claims when Trump was not involved would be wrong.

Supreme Court clears path for Sen. Lindsey Graham testimony

South Carolina Republican had asked the justices to stop enforcement of a subpoena while he challenged it on ‘Speech or Debate’ rights

https://rollcall.com/2022/11/01/supreme-court-clears-path-for-sen-lindsey-graham-testimony/

 

 

Federal District Court Holds “Speech or Debate Clause” Immunity Only Protects Lindsay Graham from Certain Questions Before Georgia Grand Jury Investigating Trump Attempt to Interfere with 2020 Election Count

From the Order:

This case comes before the Court on Senator Lindsey Graham’s Supplemental Motion to Quash [40]. After due consideration, the Court again declines to quash the subpoena in its entirety. As to the issue of partial quashing, the Court quashes the subpoena only as to questions about Senator Graham’s investigatory fact-finding on the telephone calls to Georgia election officials, including how such information related to his decision to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The Court finds that this area of inquiry falls under the protection of the Speech or Debate Clause, which prohibits questions on legislative activity. As to the other categories, the Court finds that they are not legislative, and the Speech or Debate Clause does not apply to them. As such, Senator Graham may be questioned about any alleged efforts to encourage Secretary Raffensperger or others to throw out ballots or otherwise alter Georgia’s election practices and procedures. Likewise, the grand jury may inquire into Senator Graham’s alleged communications and coordination with the Trump Campaign and its post-election efforts in Georgia, as well as into Senator Graham’s public statements related to Georgia’s 2020 elections.

This ruling comes after the 11th Circuit required the district court to reconsider its initial decision to require Graham to fully testify. I would expect another appeal to the 11th Circuit.

Prosecutors in Atlanta have called the Republican senator to testify before a special grand jury investigating efforts by Donald J. Trump and his allies to overturn his election loss.

Graham Predicts ‘Riots in the Streets’ if Trump Is Prosecuted

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/24/us/lindsey-graham-trump-georgia

Six days after major news organizations declared Donald J. Trump the loser of the 2020 presidential election, his allies were applying a desperate full-court press in an effort to turn his defeat around, particularly in Georgia.

The pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell went on television claiming that there was abundant evidence of foreign election meddling that never ultimately materialized. Another lawyer, L. Lin Wood, filed a lawsuit seeking to block the certification of Georgia’s election results.

That same day, Nov. 13, 2020, Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican and one of Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters, made a phone call that left Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, immediately alarmed. Mr. Graham, he said, had asked if there was a legal way, using the state courts, to toss out all mail-in votes from counties with high rates of questionable signatures.

The call would eventually trigger an ethics complaint, demands from the left for Mr. Graham’s resignation and a legal drama that is culminating only now, nearly two years later, as the veteran lawmaker fights to avoid testifying before an Atlanta special grand jury that is investigating election interference by Mr. Trump and his supporters.

Read More

Mr. Graham has put together a high-powered legal team, which includes Don F. McGahn II, a White House counsel under Mr. Trump. While Mr. Graham’s lawyers say that they have been told that he is only a witness — not a target of the investigation — that could change as new evidence arises in the case, which is being led by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga. Her efforts to compel Mr. Graham to testify have been aided by legal filings from a number of high-profile, outside attorneys, including William F. Weld, a Trump critic and former Republican governor of Massachusetts.

Underscoring the risks for Mr. Graham, lawyers for 11 people who have been designated as targets who could face charges in the case have said that they were previously told that their clients were only “witnesses, not subjects or targets,” according to court filings.

On Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit temporarily blocked Mr. Graham from testifying and directed a lower court to determine whether he was entitled to a modification of the subpoena based on constitutional protections afforded to members of Congress. After that, the appeals court said, it will take up the issue “for further consideration.” The matter is now back before Leigh Martin May, a Federal District Court judge who already rejected Mr. Graham’s attempt to entirely avoid testifying; she asked the sides to wrap up their latest round of legal filings by next Wednesday. It seems increasingly likely that Mr. Graham will testify next month.

Ms. Willis has said that she is weighing a broad array of criminal charges in her investigation, including racketeering and conspiracy. She has already informed at least 18 people that they are targets, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer. Mr. Giuliani fought to avoid testifying in person but was forced to appear before the grand jury last week.

Regarding Mr. Graham, Ms. Willis’s office is seeking to learn more about his role in Mr. Trump’s post-election strategy, and who he spoke to on the Trump campaign team before or after he called Mr. Raffensperger. While Mr. Trump assailed Mr. Raffensperger on Twitter as a “so-called Republican” on the same day as that call, Mr. Graham told CNN that the former president did not encourage him to place the call.

Mr. Graham has insisted that he did nothing improper, and his lawyers have argued that a sitting senator should not have to answer questions in a state court about his conduct.

“We will go as far as we need to go and do whatever needs to be done to make sure that people like me can do their jobs without fear of some county prosecutor coming after you,” Mr. Graham said recently.

That Mr. Graham finds himself sparring with the district attorney because of his involvement with Mr. Trump might have seemed unlikely before the 2016 election, when he called Mr. Trump “unfit for office” and “a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.” But he swiftly became a key ally of Mr. Trump and spent the days after the 2020 election railing against its legitimacy. “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again,” he told Fox News on Nov. 9, 2020. Democrats win, he said, “because they cheat.” (A spokesman for Mr. Graham, Kevin Bishop, noted that the senator ultimately voted to certify the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr.)

At the time he made the call to Mr. Raffensperger, Mr. Graham was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he has said that he was acting in his official capacity. His legal team did not respond to requests from The New York Times to provide evidence to suggest that the committee was conducting an official inquiry.

Judge May has rejected arguments that he was acting solely in his Senate capacity, and said that by Mr. Graham’s own account of the Raffensperger call, he was trying to influence state election rules rather than solely explore federal remedies. Indeed, in a television interview a few days after the call, Mr. Graham said he suggested to Mr. Raffensperger new state procedures for verifying signatures on mail-in ballots and creating an appeal process. (He also said at the time that he made similar calls to Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, another state Mr. Trump narrowly lost.)

Mr. Raffensperger’s account of his conversation with Mr. Graham — and his inference that Mr. Graham wanted to explore tossing mail-in votes from counties with high rates of questionable signatures — has been backed up by one of the secretary of state’s aides who was also on the call. Even so, Mr. Graham made no overt request to discard ballots, according to another Raffensperger aide, Gabriel Sterling. Mr. Graham has said that it is “ridiculous” to suggest he was asking for votes to be thrown out.

During a hearing in federal court this month, Brian C. Lea, one of Mr. Graham’s lawyers, said: “We have one phone call, and that phone call has been described by everybody. Everybody acknowledges that it is about electoral process and about verification of absentee ballots, how you ensure security.”

He said the “only dispute” was brought about by Mr. Raffensperger’s account that it was implied that legal ballots should be thrown out. “Strip away the implication that Secretary of State Raffensperger claims to have picked up, all you have is a conversation about electoral process.” Legal precedent, he argued, meant that “motive is irrelevant.”

But Judge May told Mr. Graham’s lawyers that it was critical to understand why the call was made.

“You keep saying that it’s improper for the court to look at motive, but how can I classify an act as political or legislative without knowing why the act was done?”

Knowing what happened around the call could prove critical to Ms. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney.

“The judge in her decision, and the D.A. in her filing, have outlined several different topics beyond the content of the call that could influence the D.A.’s charging decision,” said Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, a former district attorney of neighboring DeKalb County. “This includes whether there is sufficient evidence of a connection between anything Senator Graham did or said and the former president’s allies — or even the former president himself — to establish some of the elements of a possible conspiracy or RICO charge.”

Ms. Fleming is a co-author on a 114-page Brookings Institution report on the case that found that Mr. Trump himself was “at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes.” The report called the suggestion that all mail-in ballots from certain counties be disqualified “extreme and bizarre.”

Soon after the call, three legal experts, including Walter M. Shaub Jr., former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, wrote to the chair and vice chair of the Senate ethics committee, decrying Mr. Graham’s contact with Mr. Raffensperger, which took place as Georgia elections officials were conducting a hand recount.

“Any call by a sitting chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to a state election official during an ongoing count of votes is inherently coercive and points to an attempt to influence the outcome,” they wrote. “The allegation that Senator Graham placed a behind-the-scenes call to a member of his own political party, without having launched a formal investigation, suggests that he hoped to act out of public view.”

The two other signatories of the complaint, the law professors Claire O. Finkelstein of the University of Pennsylvania and Richard W. Painter of the University of Minnesota said on Wednesday that the ethics committee had not been in touch with them or Mr. Shaub about the complaint, other than to acknowledge that they had received it. The ethics committee staff did not return calls for comment.

Michael J. Moore, a former U.S. attorney in the state, said Mr. Graham “should be afraid of being wrapped up in any conspiracy indictment.”

“I wouldn’t even want to show up as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case she is trying to build,” he added, referring to Ms. Willis. “I don’t know that her RICO efforts will survive appeals,” he said, but Mr. Graham “still wouldn’t want to be in it.”

For Mr. Graham, the case represents the latest chapter in his head-spinning relationship with Mr. Trump. First he was a critic, then a fierce advocate, particularly after the election. But on Jan. 6, 2021, as blood and broken glass were still being cleaned from the U.S. Capitol after the riot by a pro-Trump mob, he declared on the Senate floor, “Count me out” and “Enough is enough.” Two days later, he was jeered as a traitor by Trump supporters at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington. Within weeks, he was back on Mr. Trump’s golf course at Mar-a-Lago.

 

“Graham must testify in Ga. probe of effort to overturn 2020 election, judge rules”

WaPo:

A federal judge on Monday denied Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s (R-S.C.) request to quash his subpoena in Georgia prosecutors’ investigation into potential criminal interference in the 2020 presidential election by President Donald Trump and his allies, signaling he must testify in the probe.

Graham had argued that he should be exempt from testifying because of speech or debate clause protections, sovereign immunity and his position as a high-ranking government official. U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May rejected all three arguments.

“The Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections,” the judge wrote.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) requested a special grand jury earlier this year. It began meeting in June and has identified more than 100 people of interest. The panel has already heard testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and his staff, Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr (R), state lawmakers and local election workers.

 

Sen. Graham fights subpoena in Georgia election probe

August 10, 2022

https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-donald-trump-georgia-atlanta-crime-

[Excerpts:]

ATLANTA (AP) — Prosecutors in Atlanta said they need a special grand jury to hear from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham because he may be able to provide insight into the extent of any coordinated efforts to influence the results of the 2020 general election in Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May said she hopes to issue a ruling Friday but that it may take her until Monday to decide whether Graham should have to testify.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened her investigation early last year, and a special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May at her request. The special grand jury began hearing from witnesses, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in June.

Willis indicated early on that she was interested in a phone call between Graham and Raffensperger in November 2020, shortly after the election. Raffensperger said at the time that Graham asked if he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots and that he interpreted that as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes.

Willis wrote in a court filing last month that Graham made at least two telephone calls to Raffensperger and members of his staff in the weeks after the 2020 general election.

During those calls, he “questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” Willis wrote.

Graham also “made reference to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia, consistent with public statements made by known affiliates of the Trump Campaign,” she wrote.

Graham had to decide whether to vote to certify the votes from Georgia and also has since proposed election-related legislation, so the phone calls were part of his legislative duties, [Graham’s attorney] Lea argued.

A group of six former federal prosecutors, including former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, on Wednesday filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case opposing Graham’s motion to quash his subpoena. They cite their collective decades of experience and expertise on the issues the senator raises.

“The subpoena reflects a narrowly targeted inquiry for unique evidence that is highly relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation, rather than a fishing expedition or an intrusion on legislative conduct,” their brief says.

May instructed Graham’s attorneys to respond to that brief by Thursday at noon and told Willis’s team to respond to Graham’s response by 9 a.m. Friday.

 

THE MOST PATHETIC MEN IN AMERICA

Why Lindsey Graham, Kevin McCarthy, and so many other cowards in Congress are still doing Trump’s bidding

 

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, heathercoxrichardson@substack.com

July 6, 2022

Today, a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, issued a stack of subpoenas as part of the investigation into whether Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in that state. Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation after a recording of Trump pressing Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger came to light in early 2021.

The grand jury subpoenaed Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, Jacki Pick Deason, and Jenna Ellis, who is now working for Trump-endorsed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. In 2021, Ellis declared she was leaving the Republican Party because it was no longer “conservative” enough for her.

The grand jury is looking at the creation of the fake electors from Georgia and at the various fake claims Trump allies put forward about the election being “stolen.” Eastman’s subpoena refers to his December 3, 2020, appearance before the Georgia State Senate, where he told lawmakers “that they had both the lawful authority and a ‘duty’ to replace the Democratic Party’s slate of presidential electors, who had been certified as the duly appointed electors for the State of Georgia after the November 2020 election, due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud within the state. There is evidence that the Witness’s appearance and testimony at the hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

At least two phone calls Graham made to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger or his staff in which Graham apparently asked about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump,” are at the heart of the subpoena to Graham.

 

LINDSEY GRAHAM THROWS AN IMPOTENT S–T FIT OVER KETANJI BROWN JACKSON’S SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

Graham threatened Merrick Garland–level stonewalling if Republicans take back the Senate.
[Excerpts:]

Despite the fact that Jackson is all but certain to be sworn in to the highest court in the land in short order, Graham took the time on Monday to rage against her nomination, stating that he’d be voting against her—the first time he’ll oppose a Supreme Court pick since joining the Senate in 2003. Because apparently, he’s just that much of what congressional historians call a “petty little bitch.”

“If we get back the Senate, and we’re in charge of this body, and there’s judicial openings, we will talk to our colleagues on the other side. But if we were in charge, she would not have been before this committee. You would have had somebody more moderate than this,” Graham said, not adding that the Senate famously refused to hold a hearing for Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland, who was, in fact, widely viewed as a moderate.

Graham’s most shameless GOP colleagues offered similar rationales for voting against Jackson on Monday. Ted Cruz, last seen asking Jackson if babies were racist, claimed the she “will prove to be the most extreme and furthest-left justice ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court.” Josh Hawley, who smeared Jackson with the baseless accusation that she was soft on pedophiles as a judge, used his time today to defend his QAnon-style line of questioning, saying, “Sex crimes against children are not fiction. They are not a conspiracy.”

Sasse doesn’t name names, but calls out performative behavior after Graham, Cruz questioning

By Donna Cassata

March 23, 2022.

Sen. Ben Sasse didn’t name names, but shortly after his fellow Republicans Graham and Ted Cruz (Tex.) repeatedly interrupted Jackson and tangled with Durbin, the Nebraska Republican called out performative behavior.

“I think we should recognize that the jackassery we often see around here is partly because of people mugging for short-term camera opportunities,” Sasse told Jackson during his turn questioning the judge.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/23/ketanji-brown-jackson-supreme-court-hearing-live-updates/

 

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, heathercoxrichardson@substack.com

March 3, 2022

Tonight, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham crossed that line when, on Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity’s television show, he called for someone to assassinate Putin. He then repeated his comment on Twitter. This was an astonishing propaganda coup for Putin, enabling him to argue that he is indeed in a war with America, rather than engaging in an unprovoked attack on neighboring Ukraine. This is exactly what the Biden administration has gone out of its way to avoid.

It was an astonishing moment… and also an interesting one. It undermines the position of the U.S. and our partners and allies, but in whose service? After initially opposing Trump’s reach for the presidency, Graham threw in his lot utterly with the former president, who has many possible reasons both to undermine Biden and to keep Putin in power. Perhaps Graham’s comment was intended to help Trump. Or perhaps Graham might have simply made a colossally stupid mistake. Whatever the case, the enormous implications of his statement make it one that would be a mistake to ignore.

 

LINDSEY GRAHAM SPENT SIX YEARS WITH HIS HEAD UP TRUMP’S ASS FOR NOTHING

The former president accused his most loyal footstool of being a “RINO,” though it’s pretty clear Graham can’t stay mad at the guy.

Throughout his time in the White House, Donald Trump collected a number of exceedingly reliable footstools. There was Attorney General William Barr,who basically servedasthe former president’spersonallawyer. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who regularly shreddedhis dignity on the guy’s behalf. Mike Pence, other than that one time. And, of course, the vast majority of the Republican Party, which lived in constant fear of getting on the wrong side of the then president.

One member of the GOP who consistently stood out from the bunch in his fealty to 45 was Senator Lindsey Graham. After declaring in June 2016 that he wouldn’t support Trump’s bid for office, referring to the then Republican candidate as a “jackass,” a “kook,” “a race-baiting bigot,” and “the most flawed nominee in the history of the Republican Party,” Graham subsequently became one of Trump’s most ardent and obsequious fans.

When Democrats were getting ready to impeach the guy the first time around, over his attempt to extort another country for his personal gain, Graham told reporters the whole thing should be “disposed of very quickly” by the Senate. When people brought up the fact that Trump regularly slandered Graham’s friend John McCain even after McCain was dead, the senator from South Carolina said he was willing to overlook the attacks because “when we play golf, it’s fun.” Two months after a literal insurrection, Graham told Axios: “Donald Trump was my friend before the riot and I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot. I still consider him a friend.” Pressed on the fact that he’d already been reelected for another six years, so politically, he didn’t have to keep this relationship going, Graham doubled down, telling reporter Jonathan Swan it would be “too easy” to simply dump the guy, before claiming, in a highly worrisome way, that while there was a “dark side” to the man who incited a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, there was also “some magic there.”

In short, Graham has more than proved his servility to Trump over the last six years, and should probably be inducted into some kind of Hall of Fame for bootlicking hacks, or given a key to Mar-a-Lago. Unfortunately, Graham forgot the cardinal rule of serving at the pleasure of Trump, which is that one must vigorously and without fail agree with every single thing the guy does and says, at all times, forever and always. Instead, God help him, the Republican lawmaker expressed an independent thought, and this happened:

Yes, Trump dubbed Graham, a lifelong Republican, a Republican in Name Only, in an interview with Newsmax that aired Tuesday night. That may not sound so bad to some people, but as Trump made clear in 2020, it’s among the worst things he can think to accuse someone of. (“Do you know what RINO is?” he asked a crowd in Arizona. “A RINO may be the lowest form of human life.”) Why is Graham, in Trump’s eyes, a RINO? Because Graham had claimed it was “inappropriate” for Trump to say over the weekend that he might pardon some of the January 6 rioters if reelected in 2024, a move that effectively would allow Trump supporters to get away with waging a violent insurrection.

“Lindsey Graham doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about if he says that,” Trump added to Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt.

Which is not a very nice thing to say about someone who’s basically had his head lodged inside your ass for over half a decade now! Though if we know Lindsey, and we think we do, it’ll all be water under the bridge by the end of the month. Last week, the South Carolina senator said in an interview with Fox’s Brian Kilmeade that he’d spent the “whole weekend” with Trump and suggested that the ex-president apparently has total control over the Republican Party. “He will be the nominee in 2024 if he wants it. Stay tuned,” Graham said, adding: “From my point of view, there’s nobody that’s going to beat Donald Trump if he wants to run.”

 

Graham warns GOP about Trump’s wrath on debt vote

The Complicated Truth About Trump 2024

The former president may already be running for president again—or it may be a lot of bluster.

By Peter Nicholas

[Excerpt:]

​Unlike past presidents who willingly ceded the stage after defeat, Trump has made himself impossible to ignore since leaving office earlier this year. He’s behaving like a candidate-in-waiting. “I’d be shocked if he doesn’t run,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump ally, told me. “I think Trump is our best pick, to be honest with you, because everybody knows his flaws, but his successes are in stark contrast to what we’re experiencing now.” (A pandemic, two impeachments, and an economic collapse don’t sound like triumphs, but that’s a topic for another time.)

Graham calls for special counsel to probe Biden’s handling of classified documents

[Excerpts:]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents by President Biden while he served as vice president.  

Biden’s aides reported finding a second batch of classified documents at a different location than his Washington office, where fewer than a dozen classified records were found. The Washington office is located at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.  

“Every conservative out there is completely disgusted with the standard that exists in America when it comes to conservatives and everybody else,” he said.  

Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), another Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Garland on Wednesday requesting the appointment of a special counsel and complaining of what he called an “astounding” double standard.

“In President Trump’s case, that retention [of documents] triggered an unprecedented raid on the home of a former president, rationalized with a thicket of partisan doublespeak. President Biden has not experienced anything remotely similar,” Hawley wrote.  

[In fact, Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden and Trump, and did so independently of Graham and Hawley’s self-serving assertions. Meantime, nonpartisan commentators rightly emphasize the stark differences in circumstances between Trump and Biden’s retention and reporting of classified documents.

So what’s the fuss?  Graham, directly implicated in President Trump’s efforts in Georgia to suppress votes in the 2020 presidential election, faces the prospect of criminal charges.  Hawley, who raised a photo-op fist in support of Jan 6th Capitol insurrectionists, voted in league with others in an attempt to obstruct Congressional certification of the 2020 electoral vote.  Conclusion: Graham and Hawley are merely deflecting attention from their own well-documented efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election in favor of former President Trump.]

“Voting is the most basic right in our democracy, but too many people are locked out of the process.”

— Brennan Center for Justice