Three top ethics experts filed a complaint asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Sen. Lindsey Graham’s probe into Georgia’s election results, CNN reports.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told media outlets this week that Graham pressured him to throw out legal ballots amid a recount into President Donald Trump’s narrow loss in the state.
"It was just an implication of, 'Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out,'" said Raffensperger.
Graham pushed back on the claim but Gabriel Sterling, the voting system manager who was also on the call, told CNN that he heard Graham ask whether Raffensperger can throw out all the absentee ballots in areas where a “percentage” of signatures did not match.
Graham’s comments "might have gone a little to the edge of" what people consider acceptable, Sterling said.
Former White House ethics chiefs Walt Shaub and Richard Painter and Claire Finkelstein, the head of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, called on the Senate ethics panel to investigate whether Graham “suggested” that Raffensperger "disenfranchise Georgia voters by not counting votes lawfully cast for the office of president."
The three longtime Trump critics also asked the committee to investigate whether Graham "threatened anyone with a Senate investigation of the Georgia vote tally."
"For the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to suggest to a state Secretary of State that he refrain from counting lawful votes threatens the electoral process and damages representative democracy," they wrote.
Graham said he was not worried about an ethics investigation “at all.”
"I get accused of everything, I'm just going to keep being me," he told CNN. "I called up the Secretary of State to find out how you verify a signature and what database you use because I think it's important that if we're going to vote by mail, we get it right."
Graham said he hasn't reached out to states that Trump won "because they're not in question. I mean, we're looking at states where there's a contest. I'm not looking at states that he lost. I'm looking at states where there's a challenge."