Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday claimed he isn’t sweating the possibility of an ethics investigation after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that the South Carolina Republican has been pressuring him to find ways to toss legally cast ballots.
When asked by CNN in the Capitol on Wednesday whether he’s concerned about facing any ethics investigation, Graham — who has continued egging on President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud as he wages legal battles contesting the legitimacy of the election process — replied “no, not at all.”
“I get accused of everything, I’m just going to keep being me,” Graham told CNN. “I called up the secretary of state to find out how you verify a signature and what database you use because I think it’s important that if we’re going to vote by mail, we get it right.”
Graham also told CNN on Wednesday that seeking investigations into states that Trump won is “not in question” so it isn’t an issue for him.
“We’re looking at states where there’s a contest,” Graham told CNN. “I’m not looking at states that he lost. I’m looking at states where there’s a challenge.”
Graham, however, defended his previous remarks that he’s looked into the voting practices of Georgia, Arizona and Nevada in an effort to see if there can be any changes made to verify ballots sent by mail, according to CNN.
On Monday, Raffensperger — a Republican who has publicly debunked President Trump and his allies’ bogus claims of widespread voter fraud in the election — told the Washington Post that Graham asked if political bias was behind election workers accepting ballots with mismatched signatures. Additionally, Raffensperger claimed that Graham inquired whether entire batches of legal ballots could be tossed from counties with high levels of signature mismatch.
In response to Raffensperger’s interview with the Post recalling Graham’s inquiries — which the Georgia secretary of state said he was “stunned” by — Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill later Monday that he was “surprised” to hear how Raffensperger characterized the conversation. Graham also called Raffensperger’s claim that he was attempting to get ballots tossed “ridiculous.”
“I was trying to find out how the signature stuff worked,” Graham said on Monday. “It was good, he did a good job explaining to me how to verify signatures.”
Following Graham’s remarks on Monday to reporters, Lin Wood, a pro-Trump Atlanta lawyer, filed a lawsuit challenging how signatures are checked, which Raffensperger vowed to challenge because the move could potentially reveal how people voted.