Senator Lindsey Graham is facing online backlash from supporters of President Donald Trump for condemning several GOP congressional members’ efforts to challenge the certification of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
A coalition of 11 Republican senators and senators-elect promised to oppose Congress in certifying the Electoral College vote this Wednesday, unless a commission is formed to audit the election results in disputed states. The group, led by Ted Cruz of Texas, said it would “reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’… unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.”
Graham, a Republican who represents South Carolina, criticized the effort as a political stunt on Sunday.
“Proposing a commission at this late date—which has zero chance of becoming reality—is not effectively fighting for President Trump,” he tweeted. “It appears to be more of a political dodge than an effective remedy.”
“They will also need to show that the failure to take corrective action in addressing election fraud changed the outcome of these states’ votes and ultimately the outcome of the election,” he added. “My colleagues will have the opportunity to make this case, and I will listen closely. But they have a high bar to clear.”
Graham, a staunch Trump ally, publicly backs the president’s unverified claim that widespread voter fraud caused his election defeat, and has made numerous appearances on Fox News to echo the claims. But some Trump supporters turned on him via social media for insisting that political posturing won’t help the president hold on to power.
“So you used MAGA to get re-elected and now do this? Disgusting,” tweeted Errol Webber, a Republican candidate for governor of California.
“Have you taken more than 1 second to review the mountains of evidence?” user @MikeLewisImages wrote.
“You just lost your next election. You better back the President. South Carolina deserves better,” commented @jinxyrabbit.
User @rdunnflorida wrote: “You are getting a kick back from gender studies in Pakistan. I’m sick of all crooked politicians. These 11 senators are heroes. You aren’t in the same class.”
“You better stand with Cruz and the others objecting the votes. Do it Lindsey! If not, your political career is over,” @Kearney9 wrote.
User @dougarnold1961 added, “Wrong Lindsey. Way wrong because CONSTITUTIONALLY challenging the results of an election is not a ‘threat to democracy.’ RIGGING and STEALING an election is!”
Newsweek reached out to Graham’s office for comment.
Besides Cruz, the group of 11 Republicans planning to oppose certification on Wednesday includes Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; James Lankford of Oklahoma; Steve Daines of Montana; John Kennedy of Louisiana; Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; and Mike Braun of Indiana. Senators-elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Roger Marshall of Kansas; Bill Hagerty of Tennessee; and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming are also part of the movement.
“The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it,” he said. “I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”