Thursday, Oct. 06, 2022|
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Why doesn’t Sen. Lindsey Graham want to talk to investigators? Is he living by the code of the streets now? Will he soon reveal a chest tattoo that declares “Snitches Get Stitches?”
Graham is challenging a subpoena to appear before a Georgia grand jury that’s looking into possible criminal interference in the state’s 2020 election.
In my years covering cops and prosecutors, I learned a phrase that applied to unsavory types who didn’t want to help investigators — folks who were protecting criminals, to be more blunt. Cops and prosecutors would say “the witness is not cooperating with the investigation.”
By challenging his subpoena, Graham is “not cooperating with the investigation”
Graham is acting no different in theory than a witness to a shooting who is refusing to tell police what he saw.
When are Republicans like Graham going to admit to themselves that democracy is at stake and stop playing games?
Graham’s lawyers said the subpoena is “all politics” and a “fishing expedition,” which is just another phrase for an investigation. That’s great lawyering — good on them for protecting their client, like good lawyers do — but it’s a bunch of slop.
Soon the term “witch hunt” will appear and it’s not even Halloween.
Graham may have pertinent information about Donald Trump’s well-documented attempt to overturn the presidential election in Georgia. Also, Graham is alleged to have been involved in questioning the Georgia election.
Graham called an election official twice after the November 2020 election to see if mail-in ballots could be thrown out. Those ballots favored then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The subpoena says Graham asked the Georgia election official and staff “about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome.”
So maybe Graham doesn’t want to fess up to his own potential wrong doing. Big surprise there.
What’s equally teeth-grinding about Graham’s subpoena challenge is the gross display of privilege in the argument that making Graham testify is an erosion of “the constitutional balance of power and the ability of a member of Congress to do their job,” as his lawyers said.
Let’s say this simply for anyone who might find the words in that argument to be alluring. Just because a person is a U.S. senator doesn’t mean they’re above the country’s legal system.
But that’s what Graham appears to believe. He believes because he’s a U.S. Senator rules don’t apply to him that apply to average people.
Senators are not some class that needs protecting from a legal system that is disproportionately against them.
Your average person with nothing to hide doesn’t hire two lawyers from the … most … powerful … law firm in the state of South Carolina.
Graham’s attorneys have said they have been told he “is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness.”
If he’s not even under criminal investigation himself, what’s he so scared of?
Grahams challenge isn’t only about hiding facts he doesn’t want to come to light. The challenge is also about keeping the privilege he has obtained from being a U.S. Senator.
Graham doesn’t want to snitch about anything that might get Trump supporters to press a button at the polls other than the one beside “Lindsey Olin Graham.”
Whatever he’s trying to keep secret it’s more damning than a chest tattoo that says “Snitches Get Stitches.”
David Travis Bland is The State’s editorial editor.
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