On November 7, 2020—after expected delays in results of the presidential election due to an unprecedented number of mail ballots—news outlets declared now-President Joe Biden the projected winner, defeating then-President Donald Trump's bid for a second term.
if this had been virtually any presidential election held in the decades before, the declaration of Biden's victory would've marked the conclusion of the 2020 election cycle. But for the Trump administration, it marked the start of a brand new campaign—a campaign to overturn the results of an American election.
After dedicating months to a smear effort against the legitimacy of mail-in ballots ahead of the election, Trump and his allies took that freshly sown doubt and leveraged it to falsely label the Biden's victory fraudulent. The campaign filed frivolous lawsuits, held sham hearings, and delivered chaotic press conferences all with the purpose of undermining the public faith in American democracy.
What's more, these efforts were embraced by Republican lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who called Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to discuss Georgia's ongoing election audits. Raffensperger's office said Graham pressured them to throw out millions of legal ballots.
After Trump's lies culminated in a mob of his extremist supporters storming the United States Capitol to upend the joint congressional session to acknowledge Biden's victory, Graham said, "Count me out" when it came to further efforts to undermine the election.
But even as Trump continues to spew the same delusions that sparked the insurrection, Graham continues to support him, even going so far as to say the GOP can't move forward without Trump as its patriarch.
On Monday, Graham remarked on the 2020 election to reporters, particularly as it pertains to a baseless ongoing audit of Maricopa County, Arizona's election results by state senate Republicans.
The Senator said:
"I accept the results of the election. I don't know what the audit is all about in Arizona. ... 2020 is over for me. I'm ready to march on and hopefully take back the House and the Senate in 2022."
Given the recent ouster of Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) for accurately stating the 2020 election wasn't stolen, coupled with Graham's own efforts to amplify election conspiracies, his claims were decried on social media.
It didn't help that Graham finally acknowledged the validity nearly 200 days after the election was first called.
Graham's call to Raffensperger is under investigation.