Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) dismissed purported evidence of electoral fraud in the 2020 election that was presented to him by Rudy Giuliani, then the personal attorney for ex-President Donald Trump, as suitable for “third grade,” according to a new book from Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
As Trump ramped up his rhetoric about a stolen election and demanded the overturning of President Joe Biden’s victory in early January, Trump loyalist Graham asked for hard evidence to back up the allegations of a “rigged” vote, Woodward and Costa wrote in “Peril” released Tuesday.
Graham, who’d previously backed Trump’s claims, was then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He sent the alleged evidence to Lee Holmes, the committee’s lawyer. Holmes “found the sloppiness, the overbearing tone of certainty, and the inconsistencies disqualifying,” per excerpts of the book released Monday by The Post. “The memos, he determined, ‘added up to nothing.’”
Graham also told Trump over the phone this summer that he’d “fucked” his presidency, said Woodward and Costa. Trump hung up on Graham, they reported.
Graham was a vocal critic of Trump before the 2016 election, calling him a “kook” and “unfit for office” and warning that “if we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed … and we will deserve it.” He then became one of his most devoted apologists, even promoting him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, Graham (who voted to certify President Joe Biden’s victory) said on the Senate floor that he’d had “a hell of a journey” with Trump but “enough is enough.”
But he’s since claimed the GOP “can’t grow” or move forward without Trump, warned that “the people who are trying to erase him are going to wind up getting erased” and said he’s trying to channel the “magic” within the former president.
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