Sen. Lindsey Graham’s anger boiled over during the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday, as he lashed out at committee Democrats for orchestrating what he called “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”
The South Carolina Republican questioned Kavanaugh first, confirming with him that he met with Democrat ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Aug. 20, weeks after she had received a letter from University of Palo Alto Professor Christine Blasey Ford describing a sexual assault allegation against the nominee, stemming from their high school years.
Graham next asked Kavanaugh if he knew that Feinstein’s staff had already recommended a lawyer to Ford, when the senator met with him.
The implication of Graham’s questioning appeared to be that Feinstein had planned all along to drop the allegation against Kavanaugh as a late-hour bombshell.
Turning toward the Democrat senators on the committee, Graham raised his voice in unmistakeable anger: “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!”
.@LindseyGrahamSC : "When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello cause I voted for them. 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." pic.twitter.com/0uLjUWS7O1
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) September 27, 2018
He then faced Kavanaugh and appeared to predict Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation to the high court: “You’ve got nothing to apologize for,” he said. “When you see (Justices Sonia) Sotomayor and (Elena) Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello, cause I voted for them.”
Then he turned back to address Democrats on the committee: “I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy,” he said. “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”
Following Graham’s emotionally charged remarks, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted, “.@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) September 27, 2018
Kavanaugh had his own heated exchange with Feinstein on Thursday afternoon, when she questioned him why it would not be better for the FBI to investigate Ford’s allegations.
.@SenFeinstein: "If you're very confident of your position, and you appear to be, why aren't you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?"
Judge Kavanaugh: "Senator I'll do whatever the committee wants. I wanted a hearing the day after the allegation came up." pic.twitter.com/janeyCYnDR
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 27, 2018
“If you’re very confident of your position, and you appear to be, why aren’t you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?” Feinstein asked.
Kavanaugh responded, “Senator, I’ll do whatever the committee wants. I wanted a hearing the day after the allegation came up. I wanted to be here that day!”
He continued, “Instead 10 days passed, where all this nonsense is coming out: that I’m in gangs, that I’m on boats in Rhode Island. I’m in Colorado. I’m sighted all over the place. And these things are printed and run breathlessly by cable news.”
“My family has been destroyed by this, senator,” Kavanaugh said with great emotion. “Whatever the committee decides, I’m all in.”
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