Special Assembly Fulton County Investigating the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, charges were recommended against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia. Grand Jury Report Published on Friday.
Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis did not indict lawmakers last month when she returned an indictment against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants in a sprawling fraud case. It is up to the District Collector to decide how closely to follow the Special Jury’s recommendations.
Senators have denied any wrongdoing in the election.
Graham, who appeared before a special grand jury last year after a court battle over his testimony, spoke to Georgia election officials after the 2020 election. His phone calls with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger and his staff related to the possibility of finding enough fraud in the state that it could have given Trump the election.
Raffensberger testified before a House committee Jan. 6 that his phone call with Graham made him “uncomfortable” because some of Graham’s recommendations could lead to “voter disenfranchisement.”
Graham repeatedly pressed Raffensberger and his colleagues on the phone about the suitability of signatures on ballots in the Atlanta area. Raffensberger told CNN in November 2020 that Graham “specifically” believed he should try to “push out” some of the heavily Democratic ballots.
On Friday, Graham defended making phone calls to Georgia election officials, saying he “has questions” and that it would be “irresponsible” for him not to ask them as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I never asked (Raffensberger) to set aside the ballots or anything,” Graham told reporters at the South Carolina event.
Graham added that he “stands with President Trump,” who he believes will be the Republican presidential nominee.
“He could be a bit of a jerk at times, but I thought he was a good president,” Graham said.
Perdue, who lost a Senate run-off in January 2021, personally urged Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to call a special session of the legislature to help Trump’s bid to overturn the election when Trump made his allegations of fraud. Loeffler, who lost a runoff in January 2021, was also in the crowd.
Last year, Perdue launched an unsuccessful primary challenge backed by Trump to impeach Kemp, who relied heavily on false claims of election fraud made during the 2020 election.
Special juries in Georgia cannot issue indictments and instead act as an investigative tool. This special grand jury began hearing testimony in June 2022, and Willis used it to investigate efforts to rig the 2020 election, sparking the investigation in January 2021 by Trump’s phone call with Raffensberger, where Trump asked him to “find” the votes needed to win. condition. The committee eventually interviewed 75 witnesses.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney earlier released very limited portions of the special grand jury’s final report, withholding full release until Willis announces the indictment.