Over two months after the insurrection on Capitol Hill, nary a single Republican member of Congress has faced any serious consequences for their contributions to undermining public confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election and for the behavior and words that helped incite the violent mob to take part in an attack that resulted in five deaths.
That may finally be about to change as a nonpartisan investigative group, the Checks and Balances Project (CBP), is demanding that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) be summarily ejected from his role on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee because of his involvement in Trump’s pressure campaign towards Georgia state election officials to overturn the legitimate victory of President Joe Biden in that state.
The CBP has sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asking him to have Graham immediately be stripped of his role on the committee which oversees the nomination of Supreme Court justices and other members of the federal judiciary.
“My question to you is this. Is it appropriate for a Senator to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee when he is under investigation for such a serious crime?”, CBP executive director Scott Peterson wrote in a letter sent Monday night to McConnell and obtained by Salon.
Peterson was referring to a report that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that the district attorney Fulton County, Georgia, was investigating whether Graham had violated any state election laws when the South Carolina GOP senator called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger right after the November election.
Raffensperger has claimed that Senator Graham tried to convince him to invalidate legal absentee ballots to bridge the gap between Trump’s losing total and Biden’s extraordinary victory.
While Graham has consistently denied the charges against him (who wouldn’t?), saying that he was merely making a call to gather information on Georgia’s signature validation process during the then-ongoing recount, Peterson thinks that the current investigation is sufficient grounds for the Senate Majority Leader to at least temporarily pull Graham from his seat on the Judiciary panel — a panel that he once chaired when the GOP had a majority — until the criminal investigation is completed.
“Someone who engages in that type of activity doesn’t belong on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee,” Peterson told Salon. “In this country, every vote counts. The right to vote is the backbone of our democracy. And instead of fighting for the Constitution and democracy, Sen. Graham called … Raffensperger to try to get him to throw away votes and rig the election.”
“I urge you to ask Senator Graham to step down from the Judiciary Committee until all investigations into his conduct in Georgia are complete,” Peterson siad in his letter to McConnell. “If we are to restore public faith in our democracy, this step will go a long way to re-establishing the idea that no one is above the law.”
Hopefully, now that Biden’s American Rescue plan is about to receive final approval in Congress and head to the president’s desk, Congress will take up the task of cleaning house (and Senate) and expel the seditionists in its ranks as the Constitution allows them to.
Perhaps a campaign of calling your elected representative to urge them to take action on removing their suspect colleagues who don’t actually act as if democracy was a sacred trust will be helpful. Go grab your phone.
Original reporting by Ramsey Touchberry at Salon.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.