BREAKING NEWS: Ethics complaint filed against Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from S.C. now facing ethics complaint for attempting to influence Georgia recount

An ethics complaint has been filed against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), accusing him of pressuring a Georgia elections official to toss out legally cast absentee votes in the presidential race.

The GOP has seemingly moved from trying to find evidence of voter fraud to creating it.

Three senators– Claire Finkelstein, Richard Painter and Walter Shaub– filed their complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics “urg[ing] the committee to investigate whether Senator Graham suggested that Secretary Raffensperger disenfranchise Georgia voters by not counting votes lawfully cast for the office of president.” They also “demand clarity as to whether Senator Graham has threatened anyone with a Senate investigation of the Georgia vote tally and or taken steps to initiate such an investigation.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told multiple media outlets that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) pushed him to throw out legally cast ballots and that at least two members of his staff witnessed the effort to suppress the counting of legal votes in the state.

“Sen. Graham implied for us to audit the envelopes and then throw out the ballots for counties who had the highest frequency error of signatures,” he explained to CBS on Tuesday.

Graham, however, has denied that he attempted to disqualify the ballots.

But Raffensperger told The Wall Street Journal that there were witnesses on the call who could contradict Graham.

The Journal reported that Raffensperger said that Graham contacted him twice on Friday, and during the second call Graham brought up the idea of invalidating absentee ballots from counties with higher rates of signature errors. Raffensperger said he had staffers with him on that call.

If two-thirds of the members vote to do so, Graham could be looking at being expelled from the Senate. Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution authorizes expulsion of a member for disorderly behavior. Congress rarely expels anyone, however. According to, “Since 1789, the Senate has expelled only 15 of its members, 14 of which had been charged with support of the Confederacy during the Civil War.”

Censure, reprimand and suspensions are other, lesser, forms of possible punishments.  

Meanwhile, election officials in Georgia have said a hand recount has turned up more than 5,000 votes in four counties that weren’t previously counted. These votes, apparently for Trump, won’t change the outcome of the race, however, as Biden still leads by 12,800 votes with all votes now accounted for.