Lindsey Graham

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Lindsey Graham
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{{short description|United States Senator from South Carolina}}{{Use mdy dates|date=March 2019}}

|term_start2 = January 3, 1995|term_end2 = January 3, 2003|predecessor2 = Butler Derrick|successor2 = Gresham Barrett|state_house3 = South Carolina|district3 = 2nd|term_start3 = January 12, 1993|term_end3 = January 3, 1995|predecessor3 = Lowell Ross|successor3 = Bill Sandifer III|birth_name = Lindsey Olin Graham19559}}|birth_place = Central, South Carolina, U.S.|death_date = |death_place = Republican Party (United States)>RepublicanUniversity of South Carolina (Bachelor of Arts>BA, JD)|Senate website}}|signature=Lindsey Graham Signature.svgUnited States}}United States}}Air National Guard)1995–2015 (Air Force Reserve Command>Reserve)19px) ColonelUnited States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps>U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps}}Lindsey Olin Graham (born July 9, 1955) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from South Carolina, a seat he has held since 2003. From 2019 he is the Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He is a Republican.A native of Central, South Carolina, Graham received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981. Most of his active duty within his span of military service happened from 1982 to 1988 when he served with the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Air Force, as a defense attorney and then with the Air Force's chief prosecutor in Europe based in West Germany. Later his entire service in the Air Force Reserve ran concurrent with his congressional career. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal in 2014.Graham worked as a lawyer in private practice before serving one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. His congressional career began when he was elected to the first of four terms to the United States House of Representatives, representing South Carolina's 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 2003. In 2002, Graham won the U.S. Senate election in South Carolina after eight-term Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond announced his retirement. He won a second term in 2008 and a third term in 2014.A retired U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel, Graham is known in the Senate for his advocacy of a strong national defense and aggressive interventionist foreign policy. He is also known for his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on issues like campaign finance reform, climate change policy, a ban on waterboarding, immigration reform, and his belief that judicial nominees should not be opposed solely on their philosophical positions.WEB, Jonathan, Martin,weblink Lindsey Graham faces down primary challenge, Politico, May 9, 2013, October 8, 2014, WEB, James, Podgers,weblink Sen. Lindsey Graham: Qualifications of Judicial Nominees Should Count More Than Politics, ABA Journal, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, August 5, 2012, October 8, 2014, WEB, Harold, Maass,weblink Is Lindsey Graham going to get primaried?, The Week (magazine), The Week, Dennis Publishing, London, England, May 9, 2013, October 8, 2014, WEB, Linda, Killian,weblink Lindsey Graham vs. the Tea Party, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Co., New York City, June 10, 2014, October 11, 2014, WEB, Patrik, Jonsson,weblink The un-Cantor: Sen. Lindsey Graham wins by poking eye of tea party (+video), The Christian Science Monitor, Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston, Massachusetts, June 11, 2014, October 11, 2014, WEB, Alex, Altman,weblink Lindsey Graham: The Bipartisan Dealmaker Finds Issues to Please GOP Base, Time (magazine), Time, Meredith Corporation, New York City, November 5, 2013, October 11, 2014, He is also a critic of the Tea Party movement, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party.WEB, Keith, Wagstaff,weblink Can Lindsey Graham survive the Tea Party's wrath?, The Week (magazine), The Week, Dennis Publishing, London, England, August 26, 2013, October 8, 2014, WEB, Manu, Raju,weblink How Lindsey Graham outmaneuvered the tea party, Politico, April 23, 2014, April 24, 2014, NEWS, Robert, Draper,weblink Lindsey Graham, This Year's Maverick, The New York Times, New York Times Company, New York City, July 1, 2010, October 9, 2014, WEB, Molly, Ball,weblink How Lindsey Graham Stomped the Tea Party, The Atlantic (magazine), The Atlantic, The Atlantic Media Company, Boston, Massachusetts, June 10, 2014, October 9, 2014, WEB, Patricia, Murphy,weblink Lindsey Graham's Tea Party Teflon, The Daily Beast, June 10, 2014, October 11, 2014, Graham ran his first and only presidential campaign between June and December 2015, dropped out before the 2016 Republican primaries began.NEWS, Alan, Rappeport,weblink Lindsey Graham Announces Presidential Bid, The New York Times, New York Times Company, New York City, June 21, 2015, June 21, 2015, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham Ends Republican Presidential Bid, NBC News, December 21, 2015. He was an outspoken critic of fellow Republican Donald Trump's 2016 candidacy and repeatedly declared he did not support Trump,NEWS,weblink Lindsey Graham Takes The Off-Ramp: "I'm Not Supporting Mr. Trump", RealClear Politics (citing NBC news), June 7, 2016, in particular he went personal with Trump regarding Trump's comments on Senator John McCain.NEWS,weblink The "Little Jerk" Once defined by his loathing for Trump, Lindsey Graham is now all-in for the president. Why?, New York Magazine, Lisa, Miller, Sep 16, 2018, Since March 2017, Graham has reversed his stance on Trump and has become a staunch ally of the president. His reversal caught both parties by surprise and sparked much media attention.NEWS, Kathleen, Parker, 15 Jan 2019,weblink What did they do with Lindsey Graham?, Washington Post,

Early life

Lindsey Olin Graham was born in Central, South Carolina, where his parents, Millie (Walters) and Florence James "F.J." Graham, ran a restaurant-bar-pool hall-liquor store, the "Sanitary Cafe". His family was of Scots-Irish descent.WEB, Lloyd, Grove,weblink Lindsey Graham, a Twang of Moderation, The Washington Post, Nash Holdings LLC, Washington, DC, October 7, 1998, October 9, 2014, WEB,weblink Millie Walters Graham, 1976, obituary, South Carolina,, After graduating from D. W. Daniel High School, Graham became the first member of his family to attend college, and joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. When he was 21, his mother died of Hodgkin's lymphoma, aged 52, and his father died 15 months later of a heart attack, aged 69. Because his then-13-year-old sister was left orphaned, the service allowed Graham to attend University of South Carolina in Columbia so he could be near home and care for his sister as her legal guardian. During his studies, he became a member of the Pi Kappa Phi social fraternity.WEB,weblink Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity,, He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in psychology in 1977, and from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a J.D. in Congress Members: Lindsey Graham {{Webarchive|url= |date=October 29, 2014 }}

Military service

Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Graham was commissioned as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Air Force in 1982 and began active duty that year. His duty began with a stint as an Air Force defense attorney, then was transferred to Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany, where from 1984 to 1988 he was the Air Force's chief prosecutor in Europe. In 1984, as he was defending an Air Force pilot accused of using marijuana, he was featured in an episode of 60 Minutes that exposed the Air Force's defective drug-testing procedures.WEB,weblink Plain talk from GOP senator, The Baltimore Sun, May 11, 2004, October 12, 2014, After his service in Europe, he returned to South Carolina, leaving active duty in 1989. He subsequently entered private practice as a lawyer.File:Lt. Gen. Jack Rives pins Col. Lindsey Graham.jpg|thumb|left|225px|Lt. Gen. Jack L. Rives pins the Meritorious Service Medal on Col. Lindsey Graham, April 2009.]]Following his departure from the Air Force, he joined the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1989, where he served until 1995, then joining the U.S. Air Force Reserve.WEB,weblink United States Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina : About Senator Graham,, October 12, 2014, During the 1990–91 Gulf War, Graham was recalled to active duty, serving as a judge advocate at McEntire Air National Guard Station in Eastover, South Carolina, where he helped brief departing pilots on the laws of war.WEB,weblink Enlightenment, The Experience Festival, August 29, 2010, In 1998, the Capitol Hill daily newspaper The Hill contended that Graham was describing himself on his website as an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran. Graham responded: "I have not told anybody I'm a combatant. I'm not a war hero, and never said I was. ... If I have lied about my military record, I'm not fit to serve in Congress", further noting that he "never deployed."NEWS, S.C. Rep. Gulf War Past Questioned,weblink Associated Press, August 10, 2014, February 19, 1998, NEWS, Pareene, Alex, Lindsey Graham's war lie: Bigger than Richard Blumenthal's,weblink June 6, 2014, Salon, May 20, 2010, In 1998, Graham was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In 2004, he received his promotion to colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at a White House ceremony officiated by President George W. Bush.NEWS, Sen. Graham moved up in Air Force Reserve ranks despite light duties,weblink The Washington Post, August 2, 2015, August 11, 2015, 0190-8286, Craig, Whitlock, That year, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces held that it was improper for Graham to serve as a military judge while a sitting member of the Senate.United States v. Lane, 60 M.J. 781 (C.A.A.F. 2004),weblink 2007, Graham served in Iraq as a reservist on active duty for a short period in April and for two weeks in August, where he worked on detainee and rule-of-law issues.WEB,weblink After Tour of Duty in Iraq, Graham Backs 'Surge',, He also served in Afghanistan during the August 2009 Senate recess.NEWS, Thomas L., Day, Military Notebook: Robins to hold birthday bash for Air Force,weblink The Sun News, September 6, 2009, September 7, 2009, He was then assigned as a senior instructor at the Judge Advocate General’s School, though he never went.In 2014, Graham received a Bronze Star medal for meritorious service as a senior legal adviser to the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, spanning from August 2009 to July 2014, that oversaw the detention of military prisoners.NEWS, Craig, Whitlock, 5 Things You Should Know About Lindsey Graham,weblink National Public Radio, May 31, 2015, March 25, 2019, NEWS, Craig, Whitlock, Sen. Graham moved up in Air Force Reserve ranks despite light duties,weblink Washington Post, August 2, 2015, June 12, 2017, In 2015, Graham retired from the Air Force with over 33 total years of service, after reaching the statutory retirement age of 60 for his rank.NEWS, Eric, Bradner, Lindsey Graham retires from Air Force ahead of expected White House run,weblink CNN, May 30, 2015, May 30, 2015,

South Carolina House of Representatives

In 1992, Graham was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from the 2nd district, located in Oconee County. He defeated Democratic incumbent Lowell W. Ross by 60% to 40% and served one term, from 1993 to 1995.WEB,weblink,, October 9, 2014,

U.S. House of Representatives


In 1994, 20-year incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Butler Derrick of South Carolina's northwestern-based 3rd congressional district decided to retire. Graham ran to succeed him and, with Republican U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond campaigning on his behalf, he won the Republican primary with 52% of the vote, defeating Bob Cantrell (33%) and Ed Allgood (15%). In the general election, Graham defeated Democratic State Senator James Bryan Jr. by 60% to 40%. As a part of that year's Republican Revolution, Graham became the first Republican to represent this district since 1877.In 1996, he was challenged by Debbie Dorn, the niece of Butler Derrick and daughter of Derrick's predecessor, 13-term Democratic Congressman William Jennings Bryan Dorn. Graham was re-elected to a second term, defeating Dorn 60% to 40%. In 1998, he won re-election to a third term unopposed. In 2000, he was re-elected to a fourth term against Democrat George Brightharp by 68% to 30%.


In 1996, Graham voted for the Defense of Marriage Act.NEWS, 104th Congress / House / 2nd session / Vote 300, The U.S. Congress Votes Database, Washington Post, July 11, 1996,weblink July 20, 2009, In 1997, he took part in a leadership challenge against House Speaker Newt Gingrich.He was a member of the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.NEWS, The Education Of Senator Lindsey Graham,weblink June 6, 2014, Business Week, February 27, 2005, He was the only Republican on the Committee to vote against any of the articles of impeachment (the second count of perjury in the Paula Jones case, though he voted in favor of the other three Articles), famously asking: "Is this Watergate or Peyton Place?"

Committee assignments

During his service in the House, Graham served on the following committees:

U.S. Senate



In 2002, long-time Republican U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond decided to retire. Graham ran to succeed him and won the Republican primary unopposed. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Alex Sanders, the former President of the College of Charleston and former Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, by 600,010 votes (54%) to 487,359 (44%).WEB,weblink,, August 10, 2014, Graham thus became South Carolina's first new U.S. Senator since 1965. He served as the state's Junior Senator for only two years, serving alongside Democrat Ernest Hollings until he retired in 2005.WEB,weblink SC – Election Results,,


When Graham ran for a second term in 2008, he was challenged in the Republican primary by National Executive Committeeman of the South Carolina Republican Party Buddy Witherspoon. Graham defeated him by 186,398 votes (66.82%) to 92,547 (33.18%), winning all but one of South Carolina's 46 counties. Graham then defeated Democratic pilot and engineer Bob Conley in the general election by 1,076,534 votes (57.53%) to 790,621 (42.25%),WEB,weblink,, August 10, 2014, having out-spent Conley by $6.6 million to $15,000.WEB,weblink 2008 Race: South Carolina Senate, Open Secrets, October 9, 2014,


Of all the Republican Senators up for re-election in the 2014 cycle, Graham was considered one of the most vulnerable to a primary challenge, largely due to his low approval ratings and reputation for working with and compromising with Democrats.WEB, Tom Kludt,weblink Lindsey Graham Faces Big – But Weak – Field of Challengers, NBC News, April 8, 2014, April 24, 2014, WEB, Tom Kludt,weblink Poll: Lindsey Graham's Approval Rating Tumbles In S.C,, October 30, 2013, February 14, 2014, He expected a primary challenge from conservative activists, including the Tea Party movement,WEB, Rosen, James,weblink WASHINGTON: Graham: 'I expect' a primary challenge | News, The State, February 14, 2014, and Chris Chocola, President of the Club for Growth, indicated that his organization would support a primary challenge if an acceptable standard-bearer emerged.WEB, Sullivan, Sean,weblink Lindsey Graham, 2014 target?, The Washington Post, September 20, 2012, April 24, 2014, However, a serious challenger to Graham failed to emerge and he was widely viewed as likely to win, which has been ascribed to his "deft maneuvering" and "aggressive" response to the challenge. He befriended potential opponents from the state's congressional delegation and helped them with fundraising and securing their preferred committee assignments; he assembled a "daunting multimillion-dollar political operation" dubbed the "Graham machine" that built six regional offices across the state and enlisted the support of thousands of paid staffers and volunteers, including over 5,000 precinct captains; he assembled a "staggering" campaign warchest and "blanketed" the state with positive ads; he focused on constituent services and local issues; and he refused to "pander" to the Tea Party supporters, instead confronting them head-on, arguing that the Republican party needs to be more inclusive.NEWS,weblink In South Carolina, Graham Prevails Without a Runoff, June 10, 2014, July 17, 2014, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin, In the run-up to the Republican primary, Graham's approval rating improved. According to a Winthrop poll from February 2013, he held a 59% positive rating among Republican likely voters.NEWS, Clement, Scott, Poll: Lindsey Graham trouncing crowded primary field,weblink August 13, 2014, Washington Post, February 26, 2014, In the primary, held on June 10, 2014, Graham won with 178,833 votes (56.42%). His nearest challenger, State Senator Lee Bright, received 48,904 votes (15.53%).{{citation needed|date=February 2019}}Graham won the general election, defeating Democratic State Senator Brad Hutto 54% to 39%. Independent Thomas Ravenel (a former Republican State Treasurer) and Libertarian Victor Kocher received 3.8% and 2.7% of the vote respectively.WEB,weblink SC – Election Results,,

Committee assignments

In November 2018, Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that he would become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and that Graham would take his place as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, pending his formal selection by colleagues.Lindsey Graham poised to become Judiciary chairman; Chuck Grassley moves to Finance (Washington Times)File:U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senators Joni Ernst, Daniel Sullivan, John McCain, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, and Cory Gardner attending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore.jpg|thumb|300px|U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senators Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, John McCain, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, and Cory Gardner attending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic StudiesInternational Institute for Strategic Studies

Previous assignments

Caucus memberships

Graham is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute.International Republican Institute web site, Retrieved July 16, 2010. {{webarchive|url= |date=April 28, 2010 }}


On an episode of Fox and Friends, Graham joked that it would be "terrible" if a DNA test showed he had Iranian ancestry. Co-host, Brian Kilmeade, reacted by saying, "Well, they have great people, just bad leaders," which Graham confirmed. He later clarified that the comment was directed toward "the Ayatollah", not the people.WEB,weblink Iranian-Americans Call Out U.S. Senator Graham For 'Terrible' Ancestry Gaffe, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, In a statement, Jamal Abdi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, described Graham's remark as "disgusting".NEWS, Iranian-American group calls on Graham to apologize for 'disgusting' DNA remark,weblink The Hill, October 17, 2018, The remark sparked reactions from high-profile Iranian-Americans, including Omid Kordestani (chairman of Twitter), Ali Partovi & Hadi Partovi (CEOs of, Pejman Nozad,WEB,weblink Tech execs want Senator Graham to apologize over Iranian remark, Sara Ashley, O'Brien, CNN, and Christiane Amanpour.

Political positions

Graham has been referred to by Tea Party opponents as a "moderate Republican". He describes himself, however, as a "Reagan-style Republican", and has been described as a fairly conservative Republican with "a twang of moderation" and as having "an independent streak".Much of the Tea Party criticism focuses on his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on issues like climate change, tax reform and immigration reform and his belief that judicial nominees should not be opposed solely on their philosophical positions. He voted to confirm both of President Obama's Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham a 'yes' on Sonia Sotomayor, Politico, July 23, 2009, February 8, 2015, WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham Dramatically Casts His Vote for Elena Kagan, The Atlantic, July 20, 2010, October 8, 2014, For his part, Graham has criticized and confronted the Tea Party, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party. In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Graham was ranked the sixth most bipartisan Senator by the Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy.NEWS,weblink The Lugar Center, The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index, April 24, 2018, July 2, 2018, Washington, D.C., In the National Journal{{'}}s ideological rankings of Senators, Graham was named 41st most-conservative in 2003, 38th most-conservative in 2004, 43rd most-conservative in 2005, 33rd most-conservative in 2006, 24th most-conservative in 2007, 15th most-conservative in 2008, 26th most-conservative in 2009, 24th most-conservative in 2010, 42nd most-conservative in 2011, 33rd most-conservative in 2012 and 40th most-conservative in 2013.WEB,weblink Facing Primary Threat, Graham Rated 33rd Most Conservative, National Journal, February 21, 2013, October 8, 2014,

Kavanaugh confirmation hearings

During controversy over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, Graham took a strong stance against letting the process be delayed or otherwise altered by the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while the two were in high school. Dr. Ford asserted that, during a high school party, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, covered her mouth to keep her from screaming, and tried to strip off her clothing while she struggled to escape.NEWS, Kavanaugh's Nomination in Turmoil as Accuser Says He Assaulted Her Decades Ago, Sheryl, Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, September 16, 2018,weblink Graham was the first Republican Senator to directly question Kavanaugh or Ford during the hearing.WEB,weblink Graham erupts in anger at Kavanaugh hearing, Ferris, Sarah, Bresnahan, John, POLITICO, en, January 11, 2019, Speaking to reporters immediately after Dr. Ford was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham declared himself unmoved by her testimony, doubting her recollection that it was Judge Kavanaugh who had assaulted her."After Ford's testimony, Sen. Graham says he feels 'ambushed{{'"}}. ABC News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.

Alito confirmation hearings

During the Judiciary Committee's January 2006 confirmation hearings for the nomination of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, a question arose concerning Alito's membership in a Princeton University organization which some said was sexist and racist.NEWS, Liza, Porteus, Sparks Fly at Alito Hearing, Fox News, January 24, 2006,weblink NEWS, Alito '72 joined conservative alumni group, Chanakya, Sethi, The Daily Princetonian, November 18, 2005,weblink In response, Alito stated that he "deplored" certain racist comments that had been made by the organization's founder.WEB, Second round of Graham Questioning Judge Alito,weblink United States Senate, Office of Senator Lindsey Graham, January 11, 2006,weblink October 2, 2006, While Graham allowed that Alito might just be saying this because he wanted the nomination, Graham concluded that he had no reason to believe that because "you seem to be a decent, honorable man." Alito's wife and sister characterized Graham's statements as supportive.NEWS, Alito disavows CAP, Mark, Stefanski, The Daily Pricetonian, January 11, 2006,weblink NEWS, Tina, Kelley, Nate Schweber, Thrust Into Limelight and for Some a Symbol of Washington's Bite,weblink The New York Times, January 13, 2006,

Free speech

File:Obama signing the Fair Sentencing Act.jpg|thumb|right|300px|Graham (far right) at the signing of the Fair Sentencing ActFair Sentencing ActDuring an appearance on Face the Nation on April 3, 2011,Mataconis, Doug (April 3, 2011) Lindsey Graham On Koran Burning: “Freedom Of Speech Is A Great Idea But We’re In A War.”, Outside the Beltway Graham "suggested that Congress take unspecified though formal action against the Koran-burning by Florida preacher Terry Jones," in light of an attack on United Nations personnel triggered by Jones' actions.Greenwald, Glenn (April 4, 2011) The most uncounted cost of Endless War, In asserting that "Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech,"Andrew Sullivan (April 3, 2011) "Free Speech Is A Great Idea, But ...", The Atlantic Graham argued that "Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war," and claimed that "during World War II, we had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy."Hunter, Jack (April 7, 2011) Lindsey Graham’s War on Freedom, The American Conservative

Gang of 14

On May 23, 2005, Graham was one of the so-called Gang of 14 senators to forge a compromise that brought a halt to the continued blockage of an up-or-down vote on judicial nominees. This compromise negated both the Democrats' use of a filibuster and the Republican "nuclear option" as described in the media. Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and subsequently, three conservative Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor Jr.) received a vote by the full Senate.

National Security Agency surveillance

In response to the 2013 disclosures about the United States National Security Agency and its international partners' global surveillance of foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, Graham said that he was "glad" the NSA was collecting phone records. He said: "I'm a Verizon customer. I don't mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don't think you're talking to the terrorists. I know you're not. I know I'm not. So we don't have anything to worry about."WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham 'glad' NSA tracking phones, Politico, June 6, 2013, November 1, 2014, WEB,weblink GOP Sen. Graham says he's 'glad' NSA is collecting phone records, The Washington Times, June 6, 2013, November 1, 2014, On July 25, 2013, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously adopted an amendment by Senator Graham to the "Fiscal Year 2014 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill"{{USBill|113|s|1372|site=yes}}. S. 1372 at GovTrack. S. 1372 {{webarchive|url= |date=December 3, 2013 }} at OpenCongress. that would seek sanctions against any country that offers asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.NEWS, U.S. lawmakers want sanctions on any country taking in Snowden, Patricia, Zengerle, Reuters, July 25, 2013,weblink NEWS, U.S. Senate advances law pressuring Russia not to give Snowden asylum, Xinhua News Agency, Xinhua, July 26, 2013,weblink February 10, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink October 21, 2013, yes, PODCAST, FY14 Full Committee Markup of State-Foreign Operations, and Financial Services General Government Bills, July 25, 2013, United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, 1:10:08,weblink

Detainee interrogations

In July 2005, Graham secured the declassification and release of memoranda outlining concerns made by senior military lawyers as early as 2003 about the legality of the interrogations of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.Military's Opposition to Harsh Interrogation Is Outlined, New York TimesRegarding U.S. Citizens accused of supporting terrorism, senator Lindsey Graham has stated before the senate,In response to this and a June 2004 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing detainees to file habeas corpus petitions to challenge their detentions, Graham authored an amendment to a Department of Defense Authorization ActS8859, The Graham Amendment attempting to clarify the authority of American courts. The amendment passed in November 2005 by a vote of 49–42 in the Senate despite opposition from human rights groups and legal scholars who contended that it limited the rights of detainees.WEB,weblink ACLU Urges Congress to Reject Court Stripping Measure; Proposal Denies Detainees the Right to Challenge the Use of Torture, American Civil Liberties Union, Right To Trial Imperiled by Senate Vote by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan SmithGraham has said he amended the Department of Defense Authorization Act in order to give military lawyers, as opposed to politically appointed lawyers, a more independent role in the oversight of military commanders. He has argued that two of the largest problems leading to the detainee abuse scandals at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib were this lack of oversight and troops' confusion over legal boundaries.FRONTLINE Interview: Rumsfeld's War. Retrieved February 10, 2009.Graham further explained that military lawyers had long observed the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention, but that those provisions had not been considered by the Bush administration in decisions regarding the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay. He has claimed that better legal oversight within the military's chain of command will prevent future detainee abuse.FRONTLINE Interview: The Choice 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2009.In February 2006, Graham joined Senator Jon Kyl in filing an amicus brief in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case that argued "Congress was aware" that the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 would strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to hear "pending cases, including this case" brought by the Guantanamo detainees.Invisible Men: Did Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl mislead the Supreme Court?, by Emily Bazelon – Slate MagazineIn a May 2009 CNN interview, Graham referred to the domestic internment of German and Japanese prisoners of war and U.S. Citizens as a model for domestic detention of Guantanamo detainees by saying, "We had 450,000 Japanese and German prisoners housed in the United States during World War II. As a nation, we can deal with this."NEWS,weblink CNN, I Just Saw This on Sen. Graham on Gitmo detainees, May 7, 2010,

Immigration reform

Graham was a supporter of "comprehensive immigration reform" and of S. 2611, the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill of 2006 as well as S. 1348 of 2007, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. His positions on immigration, and in particular collaborating with Senator Ted Kennedy, earned Graham the ire of conservative activists."Kennedy alliance costly to GOP senators" The Washington Times {{webarchive|url= |date=March 8, 2008 }} The controversy prompted conservative activists to support a primary challenge in 2008 by longtime Republican national committeeman Buddy Witherspoon,NEWS,weblink, Immigration stance hurts Graham at home, poll finds, June 22, 2007, NEWS,weblink, RNC official inches toward Graham battle, November 14, 2007, but Graham won the nomination by a large margin.NEWS, Graham romps to easy win over challenger Witherspoon, The State (newspaper), The State, June 11, 2008,weblink  In early 2010, Graham began working with Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer on immigration reform.WEB,weblink The right way to mend immigration, The Washington Post, Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, March 19, 2010, October 11, 2014, The talks broke down later in the year.WEB,weblink Sens. Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham give bipartisan push to immigration reform plan, New York Daily News, November 11, 2012, October 11, 2014, In July 2010, Graham suggested that U.S. citizenship as an automatic birthright guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be amended, and that any children born of illegal immigrants inside the borders of the United States should be considered illegal immigrants.NEWS, Lindsey Graham: 'Birthright Citizenship Is A Mistake,' 'We Should Change Constitution', The Huffington Post, Elyse Siegel, July 29, 2010,weblink Graham alleged that "Half the children born in hospitals on our borders are the children of illegal immigrants."BOOK,weblink Scholars and Southern Californian Immigrants in Dialogue: New Conversations in Public Sociology, May 23, 2014, Victoria Carty, Tekle Woldemikael, Rafael Luévano, Lexington Books, 75, Responding to the Graham claim, The New York Times cited a Pew Foundation study estimating that illegal immigrants account for only 8 percent of births in the United States and that 80 percent of the mothers had been in the U.S. for more than one year."Births to Illegal Immigrants Studied" The New York Times, August 11, 2010, p. A-19In November 2012, Graham and Schumer re-opened their talks on comprehensive immigration reform. On January 28, 2013, Graham was a member of a bi-partisan group of eight Senators which announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform.WEB, Senators Reach a Bipartisan Agreement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform,weblink Fowler White Boggs P.A., The National Law Review, January 31, 2013, February 1, 2013, On June 23, 2013, Graham said that the Senate was close to obtaining 70 votes to pass the reform package.WEB, Isenstadt, Alex, Graham: We're close to 70 votes on immigration reform,weblink Politico, June 24, 2013,

Gun rights

Graham opposes extending background checks,WEB,weblink Graham won't join gun legislation filibuster, CNN, March 31, 2013, November 1, 2014, saying that "universal background checks are going to require universal [gun] registration."WEB,weblink Why NRA says background checks lead to confiscation, The Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2013, November 1, 2014, He has, however, called current gun laws "broken", citing an example of a woman who pleaded guilty by reason of insanity to attempting to kill President George W. Bush, but who was later able to pass a background check and buy a gun.WEB,weblink Senator Lindsey Graham Calls Current Gun Laws "Broken", WSAV3, November 1, 2014, To this end, in March 2013, he joined with Senators Jeff Flake, Mark Begich and Mark Pryor in introducing a bill that would close a loophole by flagging individuals who attempt to buy guns who have used an insanity defense, were ruled dangerous by a court or had been committed by a court to mental health treatment. It did not address the gun show loophole.WEB,weblink Graham introduces background check bill with NRA backing, CNN, March 6, 2013, November 1, 2014,

Health care

Graham opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,WEB,weblink U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote, January 27, 2015,, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.WEB,weblink U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote,, August 29, 2010, Graham is a cosponsor of the Healthy Americans Act.


Graham criticized fellow Senator Rand Paul, after Paul stated "I've heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines." Graham said that Paul was "creating anxiety for no good reason" and "looking at this issue through a libertarian's eyes, not a physician's eyes."NEWS,weblink Graham rebukes Paul on vaccines,, Graham continued:


In 2015, Graham sponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the Senate, which bans abortion after 20 weeks of gestation on a national basis, with some exceptions.NEWS,weblink Graham introduces pain-capable abortion ban in U.S. Senate, Life Site News, In 2018, Graham said that he is pro-life, but believes that Roe v. Wade is precedent that should not be overturned without "good reason."WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham on Roe v. Wade: "You Don't Overturn Precedent Unless There's A Good Reason", July 1, Tim Hains On Date, 2018,, December 18, 2018,

Climate change

On December 10, 2009, Graham co-sponsored a letter to President Barack Obama along with then Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman announcing their commitment to passing a climate change bill and outlining its framework.WEB,weblink Sen. Lindsey Graham's bipartisan efforts bog down, Los Angeles Times, Jim Tankersley, Richard Simon, April 28, 2010, October 11, 2014,, Green Energy Reporter Graham has been identified as a leading supporter of passing a climate change bill and was thought to be a likely sponsor for the final bill. The Senators have identified a green economy, clean air, energy independence, consumer protection, increasing nuclear power and regulating the world's carbon market as the key features to a successful climate change, New York Times In response to Senate Democrats shifting their priorities to immigration issues, a reaction to Arizona's passage of an illegal immigration law, Graham withdrew his support for the climate bill, leaving its passage in doubt.WEB,weblink Graham Pulls Support for Major Senate Climate Bill, John M., Broder, April 24, 2010,, Graham told reporters in June 2010 that "The science about global warming has changed. I think they've oversold this stuff, quite frankly. I think they've been alarmist and the science is in question. The whole movement has taken a giant step backward."WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham Said What About Climate Change?, Mother Jones (magazine), Mother Jones, He also stated that he planned to vote against the climate bill that he had originally co-sponsored, citing further restriction of offshore drilling added to the bill and the bill's impact on transportation.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, John M., Broder, Graham Pulls Support for Major Senate Climate Bill, April 24, 2010, File:總統出席接見美國聯邦參議院軍事委員會馬侃(John McCain)主席訪問團 (27455615196).jpg|thumb|250px|Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wenTsai Ing-wen

Foreign policy

Graham supports an interventionist foreign policy.WEB,weblink The Return of the GOP Hawks, October 13, 2014, October 9, 2014, The Weekly Standard, Stephen F. Hayes, Graham and his fellow Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who were frequently dubbed "the three amigos", travelled widely, pushing for American military intervention, particularly after the September 11 attacks. Their influence reached its zenith in 2007 as President Bush advocated for his surge strategy in Iraq, declining shortly before Lieberman retired from the Senate in 2013.NEWS,weblink Foreign Policy's Bipartisan Trio Becomes Republican Duo, The New York Times, November 26, 2012, November 6, 2014, NEWS,weblink Sen. Ayotte offers GOP an influential new voice, The Washington Post, November 30, 2012, November 6, 2014, Kelly Ayotte, who joined the Senate in 2011, has been considered Lieberman's replacement in the group.NEWS,weblink Ayotte and the Amigos, National Review, November 29, 2012, November 6, 2014, NEWS,weblink In the right place at the right time, The Boston Globe, July 31, 2014, November 6, 2014,
missing image!
- John McCain and Lindsey Graham Al-Faw Palace Iraq.jpg -
John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Al-Faw Palace, Iraq, 2007
On November 6, 2010, at the Halifax International Security Forum, Graham called for a pre-emptive military strike to weaken the Iranian regime.WEB,weblink Republican Senator Lindsey Graham calls for pre-emptive strike to 'neuter' Iran – Daily Mail Online, Mail Online, He has also argued that "the U.S. needs to keep at least 10,000 troops in Iraq into 2012," saying that "If we're not smart enough to work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to hell."Burns, Robert (April 11, 2011) Pentagon Has Second Thoughts About U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq, Associated PressIn December 2010, Graham was one of twenty-six senators who voted against the ratification of New Start,WEB, Mark Memmott,weblink Senate Ratifies START,, December 22, 2010, December 22, 2010, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads as well as 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years along with providing a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.NEWS,weblink Senate Passes Arms Control Treaty With Russia, 71-26, Peter, Baker, New York Times, December 22, 2010, In August 2011, Graham co-sponsored with Senator Jeanne Shaheen Senate Resolution 175, wherewith he contended that "Russia's invasion of Georgian land in 2008 was an act of aggression, not only to Georgia but to all new democracies."He is an advisor to The Atlantic Bridge.Graham supported the NATO-led military intervention in Libya."The right’s bizarre response to Libya events". The Washington Post. August 22, 2011. In March 2015, he supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.NEWS,weblink Saudi Arabia Gets Bipartisan Backing for Yemen Airstrikes, U.S. News., March 27, 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink March 28, 2015, Graham said: "We want to have a relationship with Saudi Arabia. They're a strategic partner. They're a mortal enemy of the Iranians."NEWS, US-Saudi relations are imperiled by journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance,weblink CNBC, October 12, 2018, Graham is a strong, unapologetic supporter of Israel, and threatened to derail the confirmation of President Obama's nomination for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, remarking that Hagel "would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense towards the state of Israel in our nation's history."WEB,weblink Obama Will Nominate Chuck Hagel as Next Defense Secretary – ABC News,, January 6, 2013, August 10, 2014, On January 29, 2013, in an interview with Fox News, he claimed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "got away with murder", following her testimony about the 2012 Benghazi attack.WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham: 'Hillary Clinton got away with murder', Breanna Edwards, POLITICO, But the next year he would concede that the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi was, as he put it, "full of crap", and that the Administration had been cleared of many of the charges therein.NEWS,weblink Sen Graham: Benghazi Report is "full of crap", November 23, 2014, CNN, November 23, 2014, NEWS,weblink Lindsey Graham: House Benghazi report is 'full of crap', Jacqueline Klimas, November 23, 2014, The Washington Times, November 23, 2014, NEWS,weblink Lindsey Graham: House Benghazi report "full of crap", Jake Miller, November 23, 2014, CBS News, November 23, 2014, On February 28, 2013, Graham criticized President Obama and both political parties on the Senate floor for allowing the budget reduction to occur with "two-thirds of the budget" exempt from reductions and said the impact on the Department of Defense would create a "hollow military" that "invites aggression".WEB,weblink Awesome, February 28, 2013, Senators on Automatic Spending Cuts Feb 28, 2013, C-Span, March 4, 2013, NEWS, OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Senate bills fail on sequester's eve, Jeremy Herb,weblink The Hill, February 28, 2013, March 4, 2013, NEWS, Capitol Hill lawmakers still show no desire to compromise to lessen economic impact of $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, set to hit books March 1, Dan Friedman,weblink New York Daily News, February 28, 2013, March 4, 2013, NEWS, Senator Lindsey Graham blasts fellow Republicans and President Obama, Kara Rowland,weblink Fox News, February 28, 2013, March 4, 2013, File:Embassy Dedication Ceremony (41431882324).jpg|thumb|280px|Graham attended the opening of the U.S. Embassy to Israel in JerusalemJerusalemOn July 16, 2013, Graham suggested the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, because of "what the Russian government is doing throughout the world."WEB, Hunt, Kasie, Graham: US should consider Olympic boycott over possible Snowden asylum,weblink NBC News, July 17, 2013, Graham also said the U.S. should aim to "drive the Russian economy into the ground.""Senators press Obama to crank up Russia punishment, warn of Ukraine ‘civil war’". Fox News. May 4, 2014.On January 5, 2017, Graham condemned President Obama for abstaining from UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a violation of international law.WEB,weblink Obama faces widespread backlash after abstaining from UN Israel vote, Kheel, Rebecca, December 23, 2016, TheHill, en, March 11, 2019, In October 2017, in the wake of the Tongo Tongo ambush which killed four U.S. soldiers, Graham expressed surprise that there were a thousand U.S. troops in Niger: "I didn't know there was a thousand troops in Niger."NEWS,weblink Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger, Woodruff, Betsy, October 23, 2017, The Daily Beast, October 27, 2017, A few days later, Graham called for an expanded role of the U.S. military in Niger: "You're going to see more actions in Africa, not less; you're going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less; you're going to have decisions being made not in the White House but out in the field."NEWS,weblink Analysis {{!, Parts of Niger and Mali are already lawless. U.S. strategy might make it worse.|last=Bearak|first=Max|date=October 23, 2017|work=Washington Post|access-date=October 27, 2017|language=en-US|issn=0190-8286}}On March 11, 2019, Graham said that he would encourage the Trump administration to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.WEB,weblink Trump ally Graham says he’ll lobby White House for Golan recognition, staff, T. O. I., Agencies,, en-US, March 11, 2019,

Russian interference in the 2016 election

In January 2018, and in the first known congressional criminal referral in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Graham, along with Chuck Grassley, recommended charges against Christopher Steele, one of the people who sought to expose Russian interference.NEWS,weblink Republican Senators Recommend Charges Against Author of Trump Dossier, Fandos, Nicholas, 2018, The New York Times, January 5, 2018, Rosenberg, Matthew, en-US, 0362-4331, Grassley and Graham said that they had reason to believe that Steele had lied to federal authorities. According to The New York Times, "It was not clear why, if a crime is apparent in the F.B.I. reports that were reviewed by the Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department had not moved to charge Mr. Steele already. The circumstances under which Mr. Steele is alleged to have lied were unclear, as much of the referral was classified."In April 2018, following the FBI raid on the hotel room and offices of Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, Graham, together with Cory Booker, Chris Coons, and Thom Tillis, introduced new legislation to "limit President Trump's ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller". Termed the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, the legislation would allow any special counsel, in this case Mueller, receive an "expedited judicial review" in the 10 days following being dismissed to determine if said dismissal was suitable. If negative, the special counsel would be reinstated. At the same time, according to The Hill, the bill would "codify regulations" that a special counsel could only be fired by a senior Justice Department, while having to provide reasons in writing.WEB, Carney, Jordain, Senators to introduce new bipartisan bill to protect Mueller,weblink The Hill, April 11, 2018, On March 14, 2019 Graham blocked a resolution calling for special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be made public after it passed the House unanimously.WEB,weblink Graham blocks resolution calling for Mueller report to be made public, Conradis, Brandon, March 14, 2019, TheHill, en, March 15, 2019,


In May 2015, Senator Graham said: "If I am President of the United States and you are thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIS, I am not going to call a judge. I am going to call a drone and we will kill you."The Washington Post

Taxation and trade

Although Graham had earlier signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge, in June 2012, he went on record supporting the closure of tax loopholes without compensating decreases in other tax revenue, saying "We're so far in debt, that if you don't give up some ideological ground, the country sinks."Karl, J.; et al. "Top conservative says read my lips: Don't sign 'no new tax' pledge" Spinners and Winners, ABC News, June 12, 2012. As U.S. Representative from South Carolina, Graham received grades of B in 1995, B+ in 1996, A in 1997 and 1998, B+ in 1999, A in 2000, B in 2001, and C+ in 2002, and as U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Graham has received grades of A in 2003, B+ in 2004 and 2005, A in 2006 and 2007, C in 2008, A in 2009 and 2010, B- in 2011, B+ in 2012, and C+ in 2013 from the National Taxpayers Union, a conservative taxpayers advocacy organization.{{Citation|url=|title=National Taxpayers Union - Lindsey Graham|publisher=National Taxpayers Union|accessdate=September 3, 2015}}{{Citation|url=|title=National Taxpayers Union - Lindsey Graham|publisher=National Taxpayers Union|accessdate=September 7, 2015}} The Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies identifies Graham, during his U.S. House and U.S. Senate tenure, as having a mostly protectionist and pro-subsidies voting record.WEB, Cato Institute,weblink Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress, September 7, 2015, WEB, Cato Institute,weblink Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress, September 7, 2015,

2015 Charleston church shooting and Confederate flag issue

Following a multiple shooting incident at an historic African American church in Charleston on June 17, 2015, Graham canceled all campaign events to return to South Carolina. In response to questions from the press regarding the calls from some, following the incident, to remove the Confederate flag at a war memorial on the South Carolina State Capitol grounds, Graham said: "Well, at the end of the day it's time for people in South Carolina to revisit that decision. [That] would be fine with me, but this is part of who we are." He continued, "The flag represents to some people a civil war, and that was the symbol of one side. To others it's a racist symbol, and it's been used by people – it's been used in a racist way."WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham defends Confederate flag: 'It works here', TheHill, Retrieved June 21, 2015. Regarding the shooter responsible for the incident, Graham said, "We're not going to give this a guy an excuse about a book he might have read, or a movie he watched, or a song he listened to, or a symbol out anywhere. It's him ... not the flag."Castillo, Walbert – "Lindsey Graham on Charleston shooter: 'It's him ... not the flag'," CNN Politics, June 20, 2015.weblink Retrieved June 21, 2015.In a statement issued later, Graham said: "There can be no doubt that the shooting ... was racially motivated and signals to all of us that the scars of our history are still with us today. This murderer said he wanted to start a race war; he has failed miserably. In Charleston this weekend, I saw a community coming together. I saw people seeking solace in what they share together, not in what makes them different."Drucker, David M. – "Lindsey Graham: 'No doubt' Charleston shooting was racially motivated", Washington Examiner, June 20, 2015.weblink Retrieved June 21, 2015.

Campaign contributions

In April 2017, Graham flew to Houston, Texas to raise money from "superstar plaintiffs lawyer Mark Lanier" and "tort reform foes." The fundraiser was timed just as House Republicans began to advanced tort reform legislation such as class action lawsuit and the asbestos bankruptcy trust system.NEWS,weblink Out-of-state trial lawyers to host Texas fundraiser for Graham, April 14, 2017, Palmetto Business Daily, September 18, 2017, en, (Graham used to be a trial lawyer before he entered public office.) Because of the makeup of the number of Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, if Graham voted against the proposals along with Democrats, he could effectively stop them in their tracks.In 2016, several news stories reported that Graham was the only Republican to receive political contributions from the Boston-based trial lawyer firm, Thornton Law Firm.NEWS,weblink PALMETTO POLITICS: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham named in Boston law firm donation exposé, Dumain, Schuyler Kropf, Emma, November 5, 2016, Post and Courier, September 18, 2017, en, The Thornton Law Firm is nationally known for its expertise in asbestos-related litigation. Over a ten-year period, Graham receives $62,800 in campaign contributions from the firm's partners. In 2006, the firm was opposed to a congressional bill that would have shifted asbestos cases from courts to a trust fund-based system. According to The Boston Globe, Graham "helped peel away enough GOP support in the Senate to ensure the trust funds bill's death on Valentine's Day 2006."NEWS,weblink Graham vows to return law firm's campaign contributions if they're illegal, November 3, 2016, Palmetto Business Daily, September 18, 2017, en, The Boston Globe ran a multi-part investigative report on contributions made from the firm's partners. The report found that the firm, in almost every case, would reimburse partners' political contributions—in the exact amount—within 10 days of the contributions being made. Between 2010 and 2014, the firm's partners and one of their wives contributed $1.6 million to politicians; $1.4 million was given back to the partners from the firm. The firm told reporters that according to outside consultants the practice was not unlawful because the checks are not bonuses, instead coming out of the partners' firm equity accounts.A spokesman for Graham said that Graham would return the money he received from the firm's lawyers if the law firm were indicted or convicted on corruption charges.

Presidential politics

File:Secretary Kerry Meets With Senators McCain, Graham, Barrasso (11728192345).jpg|thumb|right|Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Senators John McCain, John Barrasso and Lindsey Graham in JerusalemJerusalemGraham was a close friend of Arizona Senator John McCain. He supported McCain's presidential bid in 2000 and served as national co-chairman of McCain's 2008 presidential bid.NEWS, Gay Stolberg, Sheryl, In the Senate, a Chorus of Three Defies the Line,weblink June 6, 2014, November 21, 2005, New York Times, In 2012, Graham's endorsement was highly sought,WEB,weblink Romney racks up more endorsements as Santorum exits, CBS, April 10, 2012, October 9, 2014, Sarah B. Boxer, but he declined to endorse one of the Republican candidates ahead of the January 2012 South Carolina Republican primary.WEB,weblink Where is all the support for Santorum in the Senate?, CNN, February 18, 2012, October 9, 2014, Dana Bash, After Rick Santorum withdrew from the race in April 2012, leaving Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee, Graham endorsed Romney.WEB,weblink Floodgates open on Romney endorsements, The Hill, April 10, 2012, October 9, 2014, Sarah B. Boxer, During his Senate re-election race in October 2014, while discussing immigration and foreign policy issues with a reporter from The Weekly Standard, Graham said: "If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody's out there talking ... I may just jump in to get to make these arguments."WEB,weblink Lindsey Graham: Marco Rubio 'not quite ready', Politico, October 3, 2014, October 3, 2014, Topaz, Jonathan, And on March 7, 2015, at a "Politics and Pies" forum, Graham advocated the reversal of defense spending cuts and quipped: "If I were President of the United States, I wouldn't let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to."NEWS,weblink As POTUS, Sen. Graham Vows U.S. Military Force Against Non-Compliant Congress, Noyes, Ron, March 11, 2015,, Ben Swann, April 13, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink April 13, 2015, yes, On April 19, 2015, Graham told Chris Wallace, on the Fox News Sunday show, that he was "91% sure" he would run for president. "If I can raise the money, I'll do it," he said.Schwarz, Hunter – "Lindsey Graham says He's '91 percent' Sure He'll Run for President", The Washington Post, April 19, 2015.weblink On May 18, 2015, Graham informally announced that he would run for president on CBS This Morning, saying he was running because he thinks "the world is falling apart."NEWS, Stableford, Dylan,weblink Lindsey Graham: 'I am running because the world is falling apart', Yahoo! News, May 18, 2015, May 18, 2015, He made an official announcement of his candidacy for President on June 1, 2015.NEWS, Lindsey Graham Announces Presidential Bid,weblink The New York Times, June 1, 2015, June 1, 2015, 0362-4331, Alan, Rappeport, In July 2015, Graham called Republican candidate and frontrunner Donald Trump a "jackass" during an interview on CNN. In response, Trump criticized Graham for asking him for help to get on Fox & Friends and gave out Graham's mobile phone number.WEB, Moody, Chris,weblink Donald Trump gave Lindsey Graham's cell number to U.S. -,, July 22, 2015, January 16, 2016, On December 21, 2015, Graham suspended his presidential campaign, due to lack of support and polling poorly, and, on January 15, 2016, endorsed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.NEWS, Killough, Ashley, Wright, David,weblink Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush, CNN, January 15, 2016, January 15, 2016, After it appeared certain that Donald Trump would become the Republican candidate for President in May 2016, Graham announced that he would not vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton, commenting: "I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I'm not going with him."WEB, Dana, Bash,weblink Lindsey Graham won't vote for Trump or Clinton in 2016, CNN, May 6, 2016, May 7, 2016, On November 8, 2016, Graham announced that he had voted for Evan McMullin.WEB, Wang, Amy B, Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'I voted Evan McMullin for president',weblink The Washington Post, October 17, 2017, November 8, 2017,

Electoral history{| class"wikitable" style"margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%"

South Carolina|3}}: results 1994–2000WEB,weblink Election Statistics, August 8, 2007, Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 30, 2008, !|Year!!|Democratic!|Votes!|Pct!!|Republican!|Votes!|Pct!!|3rd party!|Party!|Votes!|Pct!United States House of Representatives elections, 1994>1994|{{nowrap|James E. Bryan Jr.}}59,93240%|{{nowrap|Lindsey Graham}}90,12360%|||||*United States House of Representatives elections, 1996>1996|Debbie Dorn73,41739%|Lindsey Graham114,27360%|Lindal PenningtonNatural Law1,8351%|United States House of Representatives elections, 1998>1998|(no candidate)|Lindsey Graham129,047100%|Write-ins402

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