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Graham challenger invites him to African American Museum in SC after lynching comments

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Georgia DA investigating Trump taps racketeering expert for probe: report GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill MORE's Democratic 2020 challenger invited him on Tuesday to this week’s groundbreaking of the International African American Museum in Charleston, after the Republican incumbent publicly agreed with President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE calling the House’s impeachment investigation a "lynching." 

"For three generations in South Carolina, we have understood the evil history of lynching in our state. We have all — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — agreed it will not define who we are as South Carolinians anymore," Democrat Jaime HarrisonJaime HarrisonCostco raising minimum wage to an hour New Democratic Party chief announces top hires Trump's new PAC raised millions as he sought to overturn election results MORE said in a statement. “We put the shadow of lynching behind us, but now Lindsey Graham is casting that shadow across South Carolina and our nation to defend Donald Trump.”

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“I don’t know why Sen. Graham has changed and now spits on the values we hold dear as South Carolinians. That is why I am inviting Sen. Graham to join me in the ground-breaking of the International African-American Museum this Friday in Charleston and to also visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which honors more than 4,000 men, women and children who were lynched in America.”

Trump sparked fierce backlash from lawmakers earlier Tuesday after making the comparison between lynching and Democrats' impeachment probe, which focuses on his dealings with Ukraine. However, Graham, one of the White House’s most vocal allies, defended Trump’s remarks, saying the House investigation is “un-American.”

“This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American,” Graham told reporters. “I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody is accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on their behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”

“What does lynching mean? That a mob grabs you, they don’t give you a chance to defend yourself, they don’t tell you what happened to you, they just destroy you. That’s exactly what’s happening in the United States House of Representatives right now,” he added. 

Harrison’s invitation underlines how he is seeking to highlight Graham’s proximity to the White House in next year’s Senate race and cast himself as a candidate focused on constituent services. 

“Here’s a guy who will say anything to stay in office. Lindsey Graham can’t lead us in any direction, because he traded his moral compass for petty political gain,” he said in his announcement video, adding that the senator’s shift from vocally opposing Trump to supporting him was “comical.” 

However, Harrison, who served as the first black chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, will face an uphill battle in unseating Graham in the deeply Republican state. Trump carried South Carolina by more than 14 points in 2016, and the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as "Solid Republican."