‘Give me some names,’ the senator reportedly begged the former New York mayor. ‘You need to put it in writing. You need to show me the evidence’
In the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, one of his staunchest allies heard out his lawyers’ case that the 2020 election had been stolen. According to a new book, he was unconvinced.
Journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa describe the scene in Gevaar, a new chronicle of the volatile transition from presidents Trump to Biden. According to the authors, Senator Lindsey Graham, a die-hard Trump supporter, agreed to sit down with the outgoing president’s top lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and hear his best evidence that Joe Biden had actually lost the election.
At the West Wing office of outgoing chief of staff Mark Meadows, Mr Graham reportedly listened as a computer expert put forth by Mr Giuliani claimed it was mathematically impossible for Mr Biden to have won as decisively as he did.
The South Carolina senator was unimpressed.
“Give me some names,” he reportedly said. “You need to put it in writing. You need to show me the evidence.”
The following Monday, Mr Giuliani sent Mr Graham a pile of memos outlining that “evidence.” Mr Graham sent them to his top lawyer at the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lee Holmes, who was equally unpersuaded. Volgens Gevaar, the memos made wild assertions without references or evidence, making it hard for Mr Holmes to even check their work.
“Holmes could find no public records that would even allow someone to reach these conclusions,” Woodward and Costa wrote.
Privately, Mr Graham was even more withering, calling the entire presentation a “third grade”-level report.
In reality, Joe Biden won the presidential election by a wide margin in both the popular vote and the Electoral College. Mr Trump baselessly claimed that outcome was illegitimate, but failed to prove it in dozens of court cases.
Op die ou end, Senator Graham voted to certify Mr Biden’s election victory, even after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
“All I can say is count me out,” the senator said on the evening of 6 Januarie. “Enough is enough.”