Feb 05 2013

Chuck Hagel is a good man, but these are dangerous times.  What kind of signal are we sending to the Iranians when our nominee for Secretary of Defense seems clueless about what our policy is?

Jan 28 2013


The bipartisan immigration principles represent a real breakthrough on substance and I hope they will be seen as a breakthrough in forming a political coalition to finally solve our immigration problems.


Jan 25 2013

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today released the following statement on President Obama’s decision to name Denis McDonough, a former national security advisor, as his White House Chief of Staff:

 

“President Obama’s decision to choose Denis McDonough was wise and I think he will serve the nation well.  Denis is a steady hand, smart guy, and is well respected on both sides of the aisle.  I have enjoyed working with him on national security matters and look forward to continuing that relationship.”

 

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Jan 25 2013


Saxby Chambliss is one of the Senate's strongest voices on national security, and is incredibly respected both for his intellect and gentlemanly nature.  His decision not to seek reelection is a great loss for the United States Senate.


Jan 16 2013

The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is heartbreaking and beyond words.  However, the gun control plans brought forward by President Obama fail to address the real issues and I'm confident there will be bipartisan opposition to his proposal.

Jan 11 2013

WASHINGTON ­– U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following statement on unanswered questions regarding last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack that President Obama’s national security nominees will need to address in the coming weeks:

 

“As the U.S. Senate considers President Obama’s key national security nominations in the coming weeks, here is a partial list of unanswered questions that still must be addressed regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four brave Americans on September 11, 2012: 
  • Was the President made aware of the classified cable that, according to published media reports, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent on August 15, 2012, stating that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi could not survive a sustained assault from one or more of the threatening militia groups that were operating in eastern Libya?
  • Was the Secretary of State made aware of that cable and its contents?
  • Did the President's national security staff make him aware of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that occurred in April and June of last year and the assassination attempt on the British Ambassador in Benghazi around the same time?
  • If so, what actions did the President and Secretary of State take?
  • When was the President first informed about the attack on September 11, 2012, and what actions did he take?
  • What were the President’s activities during the seven hours the attack went on?
  • What were the Secretary of State's activities during this time?
  • On the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, after multiple attacks this year on U.S. and Western interests in Libya, and with rising insecurity in countries across the Middle East, why were U.S. military units and assets in the region not ready, alert, and positioned to respond in a timely fashion to what should have been a foreseeable emergency?
  • Why were the testimonies of the U.S. personnel who were evacuated from Benghazi on September 12 – eyewitnesses who knew there never was a demonstration outside the Consulate – not shared in a timely way with, and immediately factored in to the judgments of, our intelligence community?
  • Does this failure reflect obstacles that still exist to the free sharing of information across executive branch agencies, which was a key concern of the 9/11 Commission?
  • Why has the Administration refused to provide the full text of emails regarding the deletion of references to Al-Qaeda and terrorism in the talking points on which Ambassador Rice relied several days after the attack?
  • Considering that the President now labels the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism, why has he designated the search for those responsible as a criminal investigation led by the FBI?
  • Has the FBI-led criminal investigation in any way impeded the ability of other government agencies to investigate and assist in identifying those responsible for the attack?
  • Why did the Administration not do more to support and assist the new Libyan government that took power after the fall of Qaddafi as Al-Qaeda, affiliated groups, and local militias established sanctuaries in the ungoverned spaces of eastern Libya – a development that directly implicates U.S. national security interests, and which is the real explanation why four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi?”
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Jan 09 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy (South Carolina-4) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder renewing their request for documents pertaining to the Justice Department’s costly opposition to South Carolina’s Voter ID law.

 

Last Friday, the Washington, D.C. District Court issued a unanimous decision awarding South Carolina certain litigation costs incurred while defending its Voter ID law against a Justice Department challenge.  The case cost the State of South Carolina an estimated $3.5 million.

 

“Not only do we strongly support the Court’s decision to award costs, we request follow up on our previous letter regarding the reasons why this costly litigation occurred in the first place,” wrote Graham and Gowdy.  “If some, or all, of the costs associated with these actions could have been avoided by following the recommendation of career Voting Section experts, then we would like to know the reason why they were overruled.”

 

Full text of the letter is below and attached:

 

January 09, 2013

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder:

Last Friday, the D.C. District Court issued a unanimous decision awarding South Carolina certain litigation costs incurred while successfully defending its Voter ID law (Act R54) against the Department of Justice’s challenge.  In doing so, the Court reaffirmed South Carolina was the prevailing party and obtained preclearance of Act R54, marking a decisive end to the matter.  Not only do we strongly support the Court’s decision to award costs, we request follow up on our previous letter regarding the reasons why this costly litigation occurred in the first place.

On September 24, 2012, we sent you a letter regarding the Department of Justice’s objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to Act R54.  Our letter was prompted by a report that Justice Department political appointees ignored and overruled career Voting Section experts’ recommendations that Act R54 be approved.  In our letter, we requested “all DOJ documents regarding, discussing or otherwise relevant to the Department’s preclearance decision on the South Carolina law, including the memos recommending preclearance and any documents discussing the decision to disregard that recommendation.”

On September 28, 2012, Acting Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Appelbaum responded, declining to disclose any documents regarding internal deliberations, citing “longstanding policy and practice on the confidentiality of ongoing law enforcement matters” and “longstanding practice of not commenting . . . on pending litigation outside that setting.”  While we appreciate your departments’ adherence to confidentiality, now that this is no longer an ongoing matter we respectfully resubmit our request.

To highlight the reason for our continued interest, here are some of the actions the Justice Department and defendant-intervenors used to drive up the costs of the case, totaling nearly $3.5 million: 
  • Requiring South Carolina to produce more than 165,000 pages of documents;
  • Delaying proceedings by 120 days;
  • Litigating every element of the case, from the scheduling of depositions to the scope of document production, and even the font size in one of South Carolina’s briefs;
  • Requiring South Carolina to transcribe the audio recording of Act R54’s legislative history;

Deposing far more individuals than South Carolina (28-19), even deposing three separate witnesses for more than six hours each; and Collectively had three times the attorneys working on the case (36-11).  If some, or all, of the costs associated with these actions could have been avoided by following the recommendation of career Voting Section experts, then we would like to know the reason why they were overruled.

Accordingly, we again request all documents and communications pertaining to the Department’s decision to oppose Act R54 and pursue costly litigation, including any memos recommending preclearance and any documents discussing the decision to disregard that recommendation.  We are confident that our request does not run contrary to your policies and practices.

We look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,

Senator Lindsey O. Graham

Congressman Trey Gowdy ####