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Video: Russia issues arrest warrant for GOP senator

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) testifies before the Senate Committee on Finance on Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Key Senate Republicans are urging President Donald Trump to work with Democrats to end spending bills before the new fiscal year begins. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)
May 30, 2023

Russia issued an arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday after the Republican lawmaker commented on the United States’ ongoing support for Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February last year.

Edited video of a meeting between Graham and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – which was released by Zelenskyy’s office – showed Graham saying “the Russians are dying” in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The edited video also showed Graham smiling as he says U.S. military aid to Ukraine is the “best money we’ve ever spent.”

The video caused outrage in Russia, prompting Russia’s Interior Ministry to issue the arrest warrant.  

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, reacted to the video on Sunday, saying “it’s hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators,” The Associated Press reported.

Graham responded to the arrest warrant on Twitter, writing, “Good news and bad news about Russian efforts to arrest and try me for speaking the truth.”

“Good news: While I don’t expect to be tried by Russia anytime soon, I found the services of a great lawyer who works cheap. Sen. Blumenthal, my good friend from Connecticut who has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine, has offered to be my lawyer,” he continued. “Bad news: like every other dissident voice, I dont like my chances of getting a fair trial. Stay tuned.”

Graham also said he will “wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor.”

“To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy. I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory,” he added. “Finally, here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do. Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.