Former U.S. Attorney and Senior FBI official Chuck Rosenberg said Monday on “Morning Joe” that while he doesn’t like South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, he thinks the senator and others got screwed over by the Fulton County Grand Jury.
The special grand jury that indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others in Georgia also recommended charges against Graham and former state Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, according to a grand jury report released Friday. District Attorney Fani Willis decided against bringing charges against the three individuals.
“Chuck, so tell me how this works,” host Joe Scarborough said. “There is recommendation to indict Lindsey Graham for trying to tell Brad Raffensperger to throw out legal votes but it didn’t happen. Can you walk us through that process?”
Rosenberg explained that grand juries hear about lots of individuals and acts and that what happened in Georgia is “not that unusual.” Rosenberg said Willis determined there was not enough evidence to bring charges against Graham, Perdue and Loeffler. (RELATED: ‘The Legal Term Is Bupkis’: John Berman Criticizes Lack Of Information From Special Grand Jury In Georgia)
“But Joe, if I may, there’s something else here that really bugs me,” Rosenberg said. “In the federal system, grand jury proceedings are secret. They only become public if you charge somebody. And that means the person charged then has an opportunity to defend himself or herself, right, certain rights attach. You can cross-examine the evidence against you, you get counsel, you get trial by jury, a judge presides over it, you can testify in your own defense if you want.”
“When you’re simply named in a report, as Senator Graham was, you don’t have an opportunity to defend yourself in a court of law,” he continued. “So, I’m not a fan his, I don’t admire him by any stretch, but I think what happened to him and the others who are named but not charged is patently unfair because there is no place to go, really, to defend yourself.”
“Without condoning anything he did, because it was wholly improper, I hate the notion that reports can be made public and can single people out by a grand jury to suggest that they ought to be charged, because you don’t have the same rights as somebody who is charged,” Rosenberg continued. “I don’t know that Georgia broke its own law, and I’m not saying that, but if that is permitted in Georgia, Joe, I think it’s a very bad idea.”
Following the 2020 presidential election, Graham spoke with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff about potential fraud, asking about signature verification processes, CNN reported. Raffensperger told the House Jan. 6 committee the conversation made him “uncomfortable.” Perdue encouraged Gov. Brian Kemp to convene a special legislature over the election, according to the outlet.