South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is a desperate man. So desperate that he broke the law on Wednesday by expressly asking for donations for campaigns in the halls of a federal building.
The Republican Senator stepped in after chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett the hallway of the Hart Senate Office Building and pitched for online campaign donations. Representative Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat who is a former prosecutor, immediately written down Federal laws prohibiting such activities stating: “It is a crime. [Lindsey Graham] committed a crime in sight. “
Graham’s pitch revealed how terrified he is at the prospect of losing the Senate seat, which he has been treating as a personal sinecure since replacing former segregationist presidential candidate Strom Thurmond in 2002 Choice of choiceGraham now faces the very real prospect that he could be beaten by the former leader of the South Carolina Democratic Party Jaime Harrison. The Democrat, who has been linked to the incumbent Republican in recent polls, narrowly won through on Thursday with 47 to 46 percent Data for the progress survey. And The cook’s political report Recently, ratings have changed for a competition that Graham expected to win with ease. “throw. ”
But the polls aren’t what freaking Graham out. It’s the fundraising numbers. Harrison announced this week that he had recorded in a staggering $ 57 million Donations in the third quarter of 2020 compared to Graham’s $ 28 million.
Graham is obsessed with the money race. Last month, in one appearance With Sean Hannity on Fox News, he made an explicit appeal for donations, warning, “I’m getting overwhelmed. Help me. You’re killing me for money. Help me.” During Tuesday’s session of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Graham, the committee chairman, made the unusual move of mentioning his re-election contest several times and at one point pondered the donation numbers. “I would like to know where the hell it came from.” he said, apparently in relation to Harrison’s move.
Then, on Wednesday after the hearing ended, Graham stepped across the line when answering a reporter’s question about his race.
Revealing Republican policy to work through Barrett’s affirmation before the November 3rd election, the senator said, “I think the people of South Carolina are excited about Judge Barrett.”
But he didn’t stop there. Graham added, “I don’t know how much it affected fundraising today, but if you want to help me bridge the gap, lindseygraham.com. A little goes a long way. The bottom line is that my opponent raised $ 57 million. Congratulations to him. This is the best anyone has ever addressed in Senate history. I raised $ 28 million, the most any Republican ever raised. I think the South Carolina competition has taken on some kind of national profile. ”
This pitch, which is aimed at television viewers nationwide, with his explicit mention from the web address of his campaign, the experienced lawyer Marc Elias supplied to explain“Senator Graham could use a lawyer.” Elias highlighted the text of the section from the Code of Laws of the United States of America Dealing with the procurement of campaign funds in federal buildings, 18 USC 607, which clearly states:
Any person who is a federal government official, including the president, vice president, and members of Congress, is prohibited from soliciting or receiving a monetary donation or other valuable item in connection with any state or local government election in a room or building in that a United States official or employee performs official duties, by anyone.
The Code provides harsh penalties for malefactors: “Any person who violates this section will be fined no more than $ 5,000, or imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years, or both.”
Graham’s campaign tried to explain the call but was not good. Speaker Kevin Bishop answered to a local Charleston TV station, ABC News 4, with a bizarre statement that seemed to confirm how bad the C-SPAN video looked: “Senator Graham answered reporters’ questions about his campaign and fundraising. Confident that any reasonable person can tell that a violation, if any, was unintentional and not a pattern of behavior. ”
The excuse of “ignorance of the law” does not apply to that South Carolina Democratic PartyLauren Brown, whose communications director said, “After 25 years in Washington, Senator Graham should know better than to spend his time campaigning in the halls of convention. That profile of desperate and unethical behavior is inappropriate for a U.S. Senator – and it’s further evidence of why Senator Graham’s time in Congress is coming to an end. ”