Senate Ethics Committee “Reprimands” Sen. Lindsey Graham- On Thursday, the Senate Ethics Committee criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham for breaking Senate rules by asking for campaign donations five times during a media interview in a Capitol office building.
The bipartisan committee chastised the South Carolina Republican for requesting contributions for Herschel Walker’s candidature in the Russell Senate office building during a November 30, 2022, Fox News interview. To collect campaign money in a federal building is against Senate regulations.
“Members must be able to reassure the public that they are only using government funds for official measures that are in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity. Chair Chris Coons, a Democrat, and Vice Chair James Lankford, a Republican, noted in the letter that your actions “failed to uphold that standard, harming the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate.”
“You are thus warned,” it said.
The panel’s reprimands are hardly more than a swift slap on the wrist. Yet the covert committee monitors behavior and disciplines members who disobey the rules, which may include a public censure like Graham got on Thursday.
Graham admitted in a statement that “it was a mistake.”
“I accept accountability. I’ll work more in the future,” he promised.
According to a Graham aide from Washington, South Carolina, and Georgia, the senator had done over a dozen comparable interviews “on the same topic.”
Graham “just did not maintain sufficient awareness of the location from which this specific interview was being done,” according to the aide. All the earlier interviews had taken place “off-site,” away from government property.
Following the interview, Graham contacted the two chairmen of the Senate Ethics Committee to inform them what had happened and to apologize; Graham reported the infraction on his own, as stated in the letter.
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The letter indicated that the senator had already broken Senate rules in October 2020, which led to the public reprimand. The Ethics Committee determined that Graham’s actions at the time were “inadvertent, technical, or otherwise of a de minimis nature,” even though he was raising money for his campaign while giving a media interview in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
To help determine the makeup of the Senate in 2022, Republican senators—including Graham—united behind Walker’s pivotal campaign to replace Georgia’s Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock. Walker lost in a runoff election in December, solidifying the Democrats’ 51-49 victory.