Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) reportedly weren’t impressed by the “evidence” of voter fraud then-President Donald Trump’s cronies had privately presented to overturn the 2020 election results.
According to the Washington Post’s reported excerpt of “Peril,” a new book by WaPo reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Graham met with then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on January 2 to discuss what the attorney claimed to be information that would nullify Trump’s defeat.
“Give me some names,” the GOP senator reportedly told Giuliani. “You need to put it in writing. You need to show me the evidence.”
Upon receiving memos from Giuliani on January 4 regarding “Voting Irregularities, Impossibilities, and Illegalities in the 2020 General Election,” Graham, who was serving as the Senate Judiciary chair at the time, reportedly had top committee lawyer Lee Holmes vet the documents.
The memos were rife with evidence-free claims, several of which wound up in Trumpland’s lawsuits that were ultimately tossed out of court, according to Woodward and Costa, and ultimately Holmes “found the sloppiness, the overbearing tone of certainty, and the inconsistencies disqualifying,” according to the book.
Graham reportedly derided in private Giuliani’s “third grade” level arguments for undoing the election.
On the same day as Graham’s meeting with Giuliani, the White House sent Lee a memo claiming that then-Vice President Mike Pence could throw the election to Trump by discarding electors from the seven states that had submitted “dueling slates of electors,” according to Woodward and Costa.
“Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected,” the memo, penned by conservative legal scholar John Eastman, reportedly asserted.
Lee then made “phone call after phone call” to officials in the states Trump’s legal team had been targeting, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, Woodward and Costa reported. The Utah senator’s inquiry ultimately didn’t go anywhere either.
Graham and Lee voted to certify the election results in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, but not before the South Carolina senator had reportedly suggested that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger throw out ballots that came from counties with higher numbers of signatures that didn’t match.