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Is Lindsey Graham's House of Cards Collapsing?

Is Lindsey Graham's House of Cards Collapsing?

Lindsey Graham

Graham, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was recommended for indictment by a grand jury. Karma may not be the senator's boyfriend.

Oh, the life of the fabulous and fabled Lindsey Graham! He gets to golf with Donald Trump any time he wants — and after each round, Trump’s derriere must look like it just had a cup massage. But on occasion Lindsey has railed against his bestie. “Trump and I... we've had a hell of a journey," he said after the riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021. "I hate it to end this way. Oh, my God, I hate it... but today, all I can say is 'Count me out. Enough is enough. I've tried to be helpful.'" But when he was nearly assaulted soon afterward at an airport, he went back to cupping Trump. If proverbial flip-flops were measured in shoe sizes, Lindsey's redirection of his insurrection would be too big even for Shaq.

'Traitor!' Senator Lindsey Graham heckled by Trump supporters at airport - Reuters

Remember the hissy fit he had during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings? "This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics," he hissed. "And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you done to this guy." Meow! He looked like he’d lost his mind, and the irony of his choice of words. If there’s anyone unethical and a sham, it’s Lindsey Graham. The rhyme was unintended.

Now, consider what the U.S. senator from South Carolina told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during a phone call soon after the 2020 presidential election. The Washington Post reported soon after that call, Lindsey “questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and asked whether political bias might have played a role in counties where poll workers accepted higher rates of mismatched signatures." According to Raffensperger, Graham then asked whether he had the authority to toss out all mail-in ballots in these counties.

Whatever you think about that phone call, a higher power, in this case a special grand jury in Georgia, thought it was unethical. So much so that on Friday, it was revealed the jury recommended that he be indicted; however, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opted not to include him in her RICO indictment of Trump and his 18 cronies.

In response to yet another time Lindsey gets off scot-free, he said, "As a sitting United States senator, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I eventually certified the election in all states, including Georgia. I didn't find any evidence of mass voter fraud, but I did have concerns about the mail-in ballot systems in Georgia and other places."

But according to federal law, this is how vote counts are certified: “Members of the House and Senate meet in the House Chamber to conduct the official count of electoral votes. The Vice President of the United States, as President of the Senate, presides over the count in a strictly ministerial manner and announces the results of the vote.”

Nowhere does it make mention that the ranking member of Senate Judiciary Committee is responsible for certifying the election in all states. More so, Senate Judiciary members, even the chairman (which Graham is not; he's only the ranking member since Dems control the Senate), do not act unilaterally. “Leader Lindsey” went rogue, and as the authoritarian, neglected the 21 other members of the Judiciary Committee who have a voice in what the committee does and how it acts.

He also said this: "What I did was consistent with my job as being a United States senator and chairman 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."

If Lindsey, in theory, thinks it’s the Judiciary Committee that has the last word on certifying elections or, for that matter, believes it's a United States senator’s business to stick their nose in a state election that isn’t theirs, then presumably the 21 other committee members as well as the rest of the U.S. senators could also call “all the states” and certify their elections.

Can you imagine secretaries of state around the country fielding calls from 100 senators, with some asking bizarre and illegal questions like “Can you toss out all mail-in ballots in your state’s counties?” A good portion of the entire United States Senate would likely be indicted for election interference.

Graham took his silly response to the would-be indictment further, saying, "If it ever becomes impossible or politically dangerous or legally dangerous for a U.S. senator to call people and find out how an election was run, God help us all.”

Well, dearest Lindsey, sorry to burst your bubble, but it is legally dangerous for a United States senator — with you as exhibit A — to question how a state’s election was being run. God help you, Lindsey!

So Lindsey gets off the hook and is spared possible jail time. But the recommended indictment means that Lindsey, for all intents and purposes, is just another one of an illegal or barely legal posse of prisoners beholden to warden Donald Trump, with the latest, the obnoxious Peter Navarro, convicted this week for contempt of Congress.

The cast of characters — pauper Rudy Giuliani, crackpot Sidney Powell, loathsome Navarro, disoriented Kenneth Chesebro , and “environmentalist” Jeffrey Clark are no different than nosey Lindsey. Put them all in a pot, mix them up, and you have a rotten stew with stinky Chesebro on top. (Does anyone know if it’s Cheezbro or Chessbro? During his preliminary hearing this week, his attorneys used both pronunciations. If they can’t say his name, how will they defend him?)

And Lindsey, who has been recommended for indictment by a special grand jury, goes back to being a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Does anyone see the absurdity in that? It would be like putting Kareem Serageldin, the only banker who served jail time for the 2007-2008 financial crisis, on the Federal Reserve Board. Lindsey is the antithesis of justice.

He’s also the antithesis of a straight-up guy. In other words, Lindsey is about as sincere as a sham, and embarrassing in the way he continues to prostrate himself to Trump, despite those 91 indictments and counting. He’s about as trustworthy as…well, Trump. He’s burning through, at a record pace, all of his discernible about-faces. The late, great Jimmy Buffett sang about blowing out his flip-flop. Lindsey is running out of flip-flops to blow through.

In his memoir, President Obama famously said, “Lindsey’s the guy who double-crosses everyone to save his own skin.”

What will happen when Lindsey’s house of cards falls? When his devotion to Trump backfires? When his hissy fits fizzle? And when his worst hidden secrets are laid bare? Will Lindsey’s skin be burned beyond repair?

What will become of the fabulous, fabled, and fallen Lindsey Graham? Grab the popcorn.

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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