• Michael McAuliff

Lindsey Graham Denies He Pressured Georgia Secretary of State

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) denied Monday he did anything improper in calling the Georgia Secretary of State and asking about mail-in ballots that are one of the key focuses of the Trump campaign's unfounded election fraud allegations.


Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The Washington Post reported earlier Monday that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger felt Graham pressured him to toss out all mail-in ballots from counties where there were higher rates of problems matching signatures on ballots to those in voter files.


“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said.

The Secretary of State does not have the power to toss a county's ballots. Such determinations are made locally, according to the Post.


Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that he merely called Raffensperger to ask about the procedures, and called allegations of pressure "just ridiculous."


"If he feels threatened by that conversation, he's got a problem. I actually thought it was a good conversation. I learned a lot," Graham said.


He denied suggesting that the secretary of state should invalidate any ballots.


"No. I never said that," Graham insisted. "I said, 'Do you have power as Secretary of State to require bipartisan verification of the signature?' because right now they don't."


He also said he wasn't so sure Raffensperger really believes Graham leaned on him, which he said he had not heard from the secretary of state himself.


"I don't trust the Washington Post to be right about anything, so he needs to call me and tell me that. Until he calls me and tells me that, I'm not going to trust a word," Graham said.


Raffensperger, a Republican, has been adamant that the election in the Peach State was entirely proper and untainted by fraud, angering Trump loyalists. Graham's call came last Friday, the same day that President Trump was complaining about signature-matching in Georgia.


Long-time Democratic voting rights lawyer Marc Elias was not prepared to take Graham at his word.


"This is both outrageous and should be investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee," Elias said on Twitter.


Not long before, Elias tweeted out the news that one of the lawsuits filed in Georgia against the results there was withdrawn.


By Elias' tally, Trump has failed in 24 out of 25 suits filed against the election results across the country.

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