Graham says Stacey Abrams 'conned' Georgia GOP into helping Biden win

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPortman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents MORE (R-S.C.) said voting rights activist Stacey Abrams "conned" Georgia election officials, leading to a Democratic presidential win there for the first time in nearly two decades.

Graham took issue with voter signature checks in the state stemming from a consent decree, a legal settlement reached in March that followed a lawsuit by the Georgia Democratic Party which argued minorities had been disproportionately impacted when their ballots were rejected.

The settlement addresses what was seen as a lack of standards in comparing signatures.


President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE and other allies including Graham insist the agreement prevented election officials from properly checking signatures, resulting in unsubstantiated election fraud that handed President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE a win in the state. 

Biden was the first Democrat to win Georgia in a presidential race since 1992. 

"Stacey Abrams conned the Republican leadership in Georgia into a consent decree that basically adulterated the signature verification system, so that you’re comparing the ballot signature to the application signature," Graham said during an appearance on "The Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherLawmakers to roll out legislation reorganizing State cyber office House Republicans gear up for conference meeting amid party civil war Back to the future: America must renew its commitment to scientific inquiry MORE Show." "They’re the same person who did the fraud. You should be comparing the ballot signature, the envelope signature on the ballot, to a signature that existed before the application was made. She changed that." 

Trump tweeted about the consent decree a week after the election, arguing that it "makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes, etc."

An Associated Press fact check of the president's tweet found the claim to be false. 


"There is nothing in the consent decree that prevents Georgia election clerks from scrutinizing signatures," the AP reported. "The legal settlement signed in March addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes."

Election officials in Georgia have said those claims are false after conducting multiple recounts and audits of the election outcome. The state has also certified its election results. 

Since narrowly losing a bid for governor, Abrams, a Democrat, has dedicated herself to advocating for voting rights and helping the party increase registration and turnout, especially in minority communities. 

Abrams has continued her work into the state's runoff Senate elections, a contest that will determine control of the chamber on Jan. 5. 

On Nov. 23, Abrams announced that more than 750,000 Georgians have requested ballots for the contests.