Lindsey Graham admonished by ethics panel for violating Senate rules
Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

In a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Senate Ethics Committee rebuked him for a repeated violation of Senate rules.

Specifically, the letter noted, Graham has on multiple occasions conducted interviews soliciting campaign funds from inside the Senate office complex, which is against ethics regulations.

"The Committee initiated its inquiry after receiving a complaint alleging that you solicited campaign contributions in support of Georgia senatorial candidate Herschel Walker during a media interview conducted in the Russell Senate Office Building on November 30, 2022," said the letter. "The complaint included a link to a video clip of the interview, which the Committee has reviewed as well as the information you provided to the Committee regarding this matter." Subsequent probing found "five separate times" in which Graham did this, which the letter calls a "repeat violation of Senate standard of conduct."

Despite issuing the "Public Letter of Admonition," the Ethics Committee, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans under Senate rules, declined to issue any disciplinary sanctions, citing "mitigating factors" to conclude Graham's conduct was "inadvertent, technical, or otherwise of a de minimis nature."

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This decision is par for the course; a recent exclusive Raw Story investigation found that out of the last 1,523 ethics complaints against senators, the senators on the Ethics Committee issued disciplinary sanctions against their colleagues exactly zero times — even in the 204 cases where there was enough evidence to launch a "preliminary investigation."

Walker, a former NFL star turned Trump-backed candidate for Senate in Georgia, saw his campaign derailed by scandal, including allegations he paid for abortions for women he impregnated, and of violent behavior toward his family and former partners.