Lindsey Graham: Calls for Trump ally to resign over Georgia phone call

Senator under fire for interference in state’s tight election results

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 18 November 2020 20:37 GMT
Pressure mounts on Trump ally Lindsey Graham over Georgia ballots call
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Calls have been made for Donald Trump ally Lindsey Graham to resign over his controversial Georgia ballots phone call.

Pressure has mounted on Senator Graham after an official corroborated the call in which he asked the state’s secretary of state about the possibility of throwing out legal ballots.

Now Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional progressive caucus, has called on Mr Graham to quit over his interference.

“Lindsey Graham must resign,” she tweeted.

“It has now been corroborated that he urged the Secretary of State in Georgia to find a way to throw out legally cast ballots.

“There must be accountability and justice for this dangerous attack on our democracy.”

A New York Democrat also attacked Mr Graham’s actions.

“It appears that Lindsey Graham may have crossed the line into illegality as part of an effort to rip away Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, and perhaps this is part of a scheme to try to steal this election in other places,” said Rep Hakeem Jeffries.

Civil rights leaders have also criticised Mr Graham for his actions and urged Senate committees to launch an immediate investigation.

A hand recount is under way in Georgia after Mr Biden beat the outgoing president by around 14,000 votes to flip the state and win its 16 electoral college votes.

A top aide for Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger has confirmed he was on the line when Mr Graham asked the state’s elections chief if he had the power to throw out some absentee ballots.

Mr Raffensperger says he took that as a suggestion by his fellow Republican that he should interfere in the race.

“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Mr Raffensperger told the Washington Post earlier this week.

Mr Graham, who has donated $500,000 to overturning the election result, has denied the allegation and branded it “ridiculous.”

He has said that the call was in fact about strengthening voter ID laws ahead of the Georgia Senate races in January.

Mr Sterling, who oversees voting systems in Georgia, aid that Mr Graham’s comments “might have gone a little to the edge of” what people would find acceptable, according to CNN.

Mr Raffensperger says that Mr Graham, one of Donald Trump’s most vocal allies, had cast doubt on the state’s signature matching law and suggested that biased poll workers could have counted ballots with non-matching signatures.

Mr Graham claimed he had also called election bosses in Arizona and Nevada out of concern for election integrity across the country.

But that claim was quickly shot down by Arizona secretary of state Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs.

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, also denied having spoken to Mr Graham.

He later clarified that he had spoken to the Arizona governor but could not remember who he had contacted in Nevada.

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