Lindsey Graham Sorry for Herschel Walker Campaign Actions—'Was a Mistake'

Lindsey Graham has apologized for breaking Senate rules during the midterms, following a letter admonishing him from the Senate Ethics Committee.

The bipartisan committee sent a public letter to the South Carolina Republican on Thursday scolding him for his actions while campaigning in support of Georgia Senate hopeful Herschel Walker last year.

The committee concluded that Graham had violated Senate rules when he solicited donations to Walker's campaign during an interview in the Russell Senate Office building. It is against the rules to solicit campaign donations while in federal buildings.

The incident occurred during an interview with Fox News on November 30, 2022.

Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a news conference about a recent trip to Ukraine, at the U.S. Capitol January 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. Lindsey Graham has apologised for his campaign actions during his endorsement as Herschel Walker. Getty

The public letter justified the committee's decision and insisted Graham had failed to uphold the expected standard.

The letter read: "Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia.

"The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker's campaign committee,, five separate times.

"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. 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."

CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju shared Graham's response to the committee's decision.

Graham reportedly said: "It was a mistake. I take responsibility. I will try to do better in the future."

A Graham aid also defended his actions and explained the senator had completed multiple similar interviews in the previous weeks "on the same matter from Washington, South Carolina and Georgia."

The aid added: "He simply did not remain sufficiently cognizant of the location from which this particular interview was being conducted.

"All previous interviews had been conducted 'off-site' and not on federal property."

According to a CNN report, an admonishment by the panel is akin to a slap on the wrist. One of the ways in which members who break the rules are punished is through public rebuke.

The letter also noted that this was not Graham's first offense of this nature. The letter said on October 14, 2020, immediately following a Judiciary Committee hearing, Graham engaged in an unplanned media interview in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The letter added: "In response to a reporter's question regarding your re-election campaign fundraising, you directly solicited campaign contributions for your campaign committee.

"While the Committee concluded your conduct violated Senate standards of conduct, it considered several mitigating factors, and in accordance with the Committee's Rules of Procedure, determined your conduct was "inadvertent, technical, or otherwise of a de minimis [trivial] nature.

"On March 8, 2021, the Committee dismissed the complaint and notified you of the Committee's findings and action by private letter."

Newsweek has contacted Lindsey Graham through his website for comment.


Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts