Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote Tuesday that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should be investigated for election interference after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Graham pressured him to throw out ballots.
Rubin noted a Monday story from The Post, which reported:
In their conversation, Graham questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.
Raffensperger said he was stunned that Graham appeared to suggest that he find a way to toss legally cast ballots. Absent court intervention, Raffensperger doesn’t have the power to do what Graham suggested, as counties administer elections in Georgia.
“It sure looked like he was wanting to go down that road,” Raffensperger said.
Graham denied to The Post that he encouraged Raffensperger to discard ballots, saying he was only investigating signature-matching rules. That raises the question why he would need to know this information and decide directly to contact Raffensperger, who is under death threats and has been subject to baseless accusations of misconduct by fellow Republicans.
Law enforcement officials, potentially at both the federal and state levels, should investigate, Rubin wrote, and require that “both parties to the conversation, and any witnesses, to preserve evidence.”
“At the very least, it’s a serious matter that might warrant further investigation — and that is grossly unbecoming of any United States senator, let alone the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
STEPHEN I. VLADECK, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LAW PROFESSOR
She acknowledged that the facts are definitive at present, but it’s possible that “any number of laws might be implicated,” Rubin wrote. She went on to cite both federal and state laws of which Graham could have run afoul.
The alleged behavior is serious, unseemly and raises legitimate questions. Whether or not any of these or other laws were broken must be investigated, but Graham’s actions have called into question his willingness to uphold the sanctity of elections.
What we do know is the Republicans’ lack of respect for election results, and willingness to propound all sorts of far-fetched conspiracy theories, have already seriously undermined trust in the election and whipped their base up into a fury. It’s time to stop. The election is over.