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Activist group requests ethics probe of Graham's impeachment comments

Left-leaning activist group American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to launch an inquiry into Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE’s (R-S.C.) remarks about President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE's looming impeachment trial.

In a Dec. 17 letter to the committee that was made public Monday, the group cited Graham’s public comments that he has “made up” his mind and that he is “not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

Graham has made similar comments to reporters throughout the impeachment process.

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“In Senator Graham’s own words -- he is not even going to pretend to follow his constitutionally required oath of impartiality,” ADLF President Brad Woodhouse wrote in the letter. “This statement not only indicates Senator Graham’s clear intention to violate a sworn oath, but further calls into question the integrity of any impeachment trial that is held in the U.S. Senate.”

A spokesperson for Graham’s office declined to comment, and a spokesperson for the Senate Ethics Committee was not immediately available for comment.

“Senator Graham is clearly incapable of following Senate rules or complying with his ethical duties as a member of the U.S. Senate,” Woodhouse said in a statement to The Hill. “We are therefore demanding a thorough investigation into his misconduct by the Senate Ethics Committee.”

Democrats have criticized Graham for his comments, accusing him of violating the oath senators will take ahead of the impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ky.) has also been criticized for his remarks that he will work in “total coordination” with the White House throughout the process.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe, effective in FDA analysis | 3-4 million doses coming next week | White House to send out 25 million masks Biden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Alaska) joined Democrats in condemning McConnell’s comments, telling local Alaska NBC-affiliate KTUU last month she was “disturbed” by his remarks.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House House Republican attempts to appeal fine for bypassing metal detector outside chamber MORE (D-Calif.) has not sent the two House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate over concerns about the parameters and fairness of an impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled upper chamber.

McConnell has signaled he is not willing to meet Democrats’ demands that top White House officials testify as part of the impeachment trial. Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report Key impeachment figure Pence sticks to sidelines Bolton lawyer: Trump impeachment trial is constitutional MORE threw a curveball into the impeachment process Monday when he announced that he would be willing to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed.