During Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) launched into a fiery speech, chiding both Democrats and Republicans for their conduct in this debate on allegations of sexual assault against him.
“Are you aware that at 9:23 on the night of July the 9th, the day you were nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump, Senator Schumer said, 23 minutes after your nomination, ‘I’ll oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have. I hope a bipartisan majority will do that same,'” Graham asked.
He further asked if Kavanaugh knew that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had already recommended a lawyer to sexual assault accuser Christine Blasey Ford when Kavanaugh met with Feinstein on August 20.
The nominee said he did not know.
“If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us,” Graham declared, turning to the Democrats. “What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You’ve said that, not me.”
“When you see [Supreme Court Justices] Sotomayor and Kagan, say hello because I voted for them. I’d never do to them what you’ve done to this guy,” Graham added. “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy.”
“Are you a gang rapist?” he asked Kavanaugh. The judge responded, “No.”
“I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through,” Graham added. “Boy, you all want power,” he said to the Democrats. “God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham, that you new about it and you held it.”
“You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford. None,” the senator declared. “She’s as much of a victim as you are,” he said, turning back to Kavanaugh.
“God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends, but let me tell you, when it comes to this, if you’re looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend.”
Turning to Kavanaugh, he asked, “Do you consider this a job interview?”
The judge politely replied, “I’ve been through a process of advice and consent under the Constitution…”
Graham cut him off, “Would you say you’ve been through hell?”
“I’ve been through hell and then some,” the judge responded.
“This is not a job interview. This is hell.”
“This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap,” Graham declared. “You have interacted with professional women all your life, not one accusation. You’re supposed to be Bill Cosby when you’re a junior and senior in high school. And all of a sudden you got over it.”
The senator is correct. Around 200 women have testified to Kavanaugh’s respectful treatment of women since high school. He has mentored female clerks and coached girls basketball. These are not the actions of a rapist.
“It’s been my understanding that if you drug women and rape them for two years in high school, you probably don’t stop,” Graham explained. He quoted the American Bar Association’s statement in defense of Kavanaugh’s integrity.
Then he turned to Kavanaugh’s wife Ashley. “Ashley, you should be proud of this, that you raised a daughter who had the good character to pray for Dr. Ford.”
“To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics,” Graham said. To the Democrats again, “You want this seat, I hope you never get it.”
To Kavanaugh, Graham said, “I hope you’re on the Supreme Court. That’s exactly where you should be. And I hope the American people will see through this charade. And I wish you well. I intend to vote for you, and I hope everybody who’s fair-minded will.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised Graham. “[Lindsey Graham] has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him,” she tweeted.
.@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) September 27, 2018
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.