On Thursday (March 23), the Senate Select Committee on Ethics reprimanded Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) for soliciting campaign contributions for Georgia’s Senate runoff during a Fox News interview held at the Russell Senate Office Building.
The Committee noted that during the nine-minute interview with Fox News, Graham solicited campaign contributions for the GOP’s Senate Candidate, Herschel Walker, five times.
The Committee concluded Graham had “impermissibly” carried out “campaign activity in a federal building,” noting that the South Carolina Republican had violated the standard requiring Senators to use public resources only to carry out official duties and not for partisan political activity.
In the letter, written by Ethics Committee Chair Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Vice Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.), Graham is admonished for failing “to uphold that standard,” which the pair asserted harmed “the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate.”
The Committee pointed to an earlier infraction that took place in October 2020, when Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his campaign during an interview conducted in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
In the letter, Coons and Lankford explain that the Committee dismissed that infraction in March 2021 because it determined it to be “inadvertent, technical, [and]… de minimis in nature.”
However, the pair noted that Graham’s conduct during the October 2020 incident was taken into consideration when the Committee was looking into the more recent infraction, leading them to publicly admonish Graham.
The pair explained that despite the Committee’s guidance in the October 2020 incident, which Graham was informed of in a private letter, he still solicited campaign contributions for Walker’s campaign.