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Ayana Archie

The Senate Ethics Committee warns Lindsey Graham for fundraising in Senate building

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2024 for the Department of State with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was warned Thursday by the Senate Ethics Committee about asking for campaign donations on behalf of Herschel Walker inside a federal building last year.

"The Committee finds that your conduct was contrary to Senate standards of conduct and, accordingly, issues you this Public Letter of Admonition," it said to Graham.

The committee found that on Nov. 30, 2022, in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, Graham encouraged viewers to visit Walker's campaign website five times in the span of a four minute interview with Fox News about the 2022 Georgia senatorial run-off election.

Walker, known for his Heisman Trophy-winning career as a running back at the University of Georgia, was the Republican candidate. He was defeated by the incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

The Ethics Committee also cited a previous infraction of Graham's, in which during an interview, he asked for donations for his own re-election campaign after a Judiciary Committee hearing in October 2020.

The committee deemed that action a violation, but dismissed the complaint in March 2021, finding that the violation was "inadvertent, technical, or otherwise of a de minimis nature."

"The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity," the committee wrote. "Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished."

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