Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) defended his actions surrounding the 2020 election after a grand jury report in Fulton County, Ga., released Friday showed jurors recommended that he be prosecuted.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) ultimately did not pursue the charges.
Graham said Friday that his decisions, including his highly-publicized call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), were “consistent” with his job as a U.S. senator and, at the time, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The South Carolina Republican added that he made the “responsible decision” and noted repeatedly that he voted to certify the 2020 election for President Biden.
“What I did was consistent with my job as being a U.S. senator, chair of the Judiciary Committee. … I think the system in this country is getting off the rails and we have to be careful not to use the legal system as a political tool,” Graham told reporters in his home state.
The South Carolina senator added that he did not read the report in question and that he was surprised the grand jury recommended him for prosecution. According to the grand jury report, 13 jurors recommended prosecution while seven did not. One member of the grand jury abstained.
“I was totally surprised. … I never suggested anybody set aside the election. I never said ‘go find votes.’ I never said anything other than trying to find how the mail-in balloting system worked,” Graham said.
“The case will move forward without me,” Graham said. “If it ever becomes impossible or politically dangerous or legally dangerous for a United States senator to call up people to find out how the election was wrong, God help us all. The next election, if I have questions, I’ll do the same thing.”
Graham added that he has not had any further communication with the grand jury.
Jurors also voted 17-4 and 14-6 to recommend indictments for former Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively.
Graham came under fire for his call with Raffensperger, who claimed that the senator asked him about possibly throwing out votes that were legally cast. Graham has scoffed at that idea repeatedly and has maintained his focus was on mail-in ballots and how to match signatures.
Willis ultimately issued charges for former President Trump and 18 others involved in the 2020 election, including ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani and a number of lawyers involved in the effort to overturn the election.
The grand jury report released Friday also showed the grand jury recommended charges for a number of other people that Willis did not move forward with. Among those were Trump-aligned attorney Cleta Mitchell and Michael Flynn, who served as Trump’s national security adviser for a brief time.
The grand jury also called to charge Boris Epshteyn, a longtime aide to Trump who serves as part of his legal team.
Trump responded to the grand jury report Friday and panned it as having “ZERO credibility.”
“Essentially, they wanted to indict anybody who happened to be breathing at the time. It totally undermines the credibility of the findings, and badly hurts the Great State of Georgia, whose wonderful and patriotic people are not happy with this charade,” he wrote.
Updated at 1:47 p.m.