Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he will donate half a million dollars to President Donald Trump’s legal defense fund as the bitter battle over votes in the 2020 presidential election heads into courtrooms.
Graham, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday, threw his support behind Trump and announced his backing for the president’s legal efforts.
“I’m here tonight to stand with President Trump. He stood with me. He’s the reason we’re going to have a Senate majority,” Graham said.
“He helped Senate Republicans, we’re going to pick up House seats because of the campaign that President Trump won,” Graham said, adding, “I’m going to donate $500,000 tonight to President Trump’s defense legal fund … so we’ll have the resources to fight.”
The outcome of the presidential election hangs in the balance with the Trump campaign mounting legal challenges as vote counts continue. Trump has claimed the presence of fraud and accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
Speaking in the White House briefing room Thursday, the president said, “We think there’ll be a lot of litigation because we can’t have an election stolen like this.”
Democrat challenger Joe Biden posted on Twitter, “No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever,” with his comment coming after Trump’s claims of election fraud. Biden, too, has launched a legal initiative to take the battle over votes to court, saying, “Trump is going to court to stop votes from being counted. We have assembled the largest election protection effort in history to fight back.”
Earlier Thursday, a Biden campaign lawyer called the lawsuits meritless, more political strategy than legal. “I want to emphasize that for their purposes these lawsuits don’t have to have merit. That’s not the purpose. … It is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process,” lawyer Bob Bauer said, accusing the Trump campaign of “continually alleging irregularities, failures of the system and fraud without any basis.”
The Trump campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, laying the groundwork for contesting battleground states. The new filings join existing Republican legal challenges in Pennsylvania and Nevada, demanding better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and raise absentee ballot concerns, according to the Trump campaign.
On Thursday, the Trump campaign said they are filing a lawsuit in Nevada, alleging that more than 10,000 votes in the state were cast by voters who no longer live there. The move came as Biden held an 8,000-vote lead in the state, which with its 6 Electoral College votes could prove crucial in the presidential race.
Trump’s campaign has won one legal fight so far, which allowed its election monitors to stand six feet away from the ballot counting in Philadelphia.
Trump campaign officials said on Nov. 4 that observers had been forced to watch ballots being counted from as far away as 100 feet. Hours after the ruling, Trump campaign officials said Philadelphia’s sheriff refused to enforce the order.