The anger in Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had been building steadily throughout Thursday, as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
When Ford’s questioning ended, Graham vented to reporters about what he saw as a Democratic conspiracy to keep Brett Kavanaugh from the high court. But it wasn’t until Kavanaugh himself was questioned by Democrats on the committee that Graham’s anger really boiled over.
After Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Kavanaugh to request an F.B.I. investigation into charges of sexual assault to try to clear his name, Graham broke from the agreement among Republican senators to have prosecutor Rachel Mitchell ask their questions for them, and fired off his own view on whether an investigation should be launched.
“If you wanted an FBI investigation you could have come to us. 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,” Graham said, before turning back to Kavanaugh. “You’ve got nothing to apologize for. When you see [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor and [Justice Elena] Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello, because I voted for them.”
Returning his ire to Durbin and the Democrats questioning Kavanaugh, Graham, red-faced and animated, continued his fire. “I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” Graham shouted. “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?”
“No,” Kavanaugh responded.
“I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through,” Graham continued. “Boy you all want power. God I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham.”
The White House applauded Graham’s performance at the hearing.
.@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 27, 2018
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