Faith Leaders Stand Behind Kavanaugh: ‘This Is an Attempt to Smear Him’

Franklin Graham and others express their support for the nominee in the face of inflammatory 11th-hour allegations

Image Credit: Matt Johnson /SAUL LOEB/ AFP / Getty Images

Prominent faith leaders have expressed unequivocal support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh amid what they see as efforts by Democrats in Congress to derail his confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

Those efforts have intensified ever since allegations of sexual abuse surfaced from a Palo Alto University professor late last week.

In an interview with Fox News host Shannon Bream on Tuesday, Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, called for an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Democrats and Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford of California.

He also said he talked with the White House several times within a 24-hour period — and that the Trump administration’s support for Kavanaugh “is as strong as ever.”

While always supportive of true victims, Jeffress is wary of the politicization of allegations of sexual assault.

“Sexual assault is a heinous crime, and I feel empathy for all of those who have been victimized by it,” Pastor Jeffress said in a follow-up statement provided to LifeZette. “I do not know with certainty who is telling the truth, but what I know with absolute certainty is that Democrats don’t care about the truth.”

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He continued, “If they were truly interested in justice, they would not have sat on this report until the hearings were completed” — noting that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) could have shared this information with her colleagues without revealing the accuser’s identity as soon as she received the letter.

“The Democrats’ only goal,” Jeffress believes, “is to derail the Kavanaugh confirmation.”

“America sees right through the gross hypocrisy of the Left and the feigned concern of Democrats for the abuse of women,” he added. “Their real concern with Judge Kavanaugh is that he might restrict in any way the murder of 700,000 females in the womb through abortion every year.”

“It’s time for this desperate ploy of the Democrats to be brought to a swift conclusion,” urged Jeffress, an evangelical adviser to President Donald Trump and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas. “Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should testify on September 24, and the committee and then the Senate should vote swiftly for confirmation after that.”

As of right now, Ford is refusing to testify.

Her attorneys claim they require “a full investigation by law-enforcement officials” to “ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a nonpartisan manner,” before she gives her side testimony to the Judiciary Committee, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Rev. Franklin Graham (pictured above left), meanwhile, is also defending Kavanaugh amid Ford’s allegations.

“It’s a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh, who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did as a teenager close to 40 years ago. That’s not relevant,” Graham said Tuesday during an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, according to Faithwire.

Graham could not help but note the purely political nature of the claims against Kavanaugh, which Senate Democrats have known about for months.

Related: Feinstein’s Decision to Withhold Kavanaugh Allegations Is ‘Politically Motivated’

“We’ve got to look at a person’s life and what they’ve done as an adult and are they qualified for this position,” said Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headquartered in Boone, North Carolina.

“This is just an attempt to smear him,” said Graham.

“They couldn’t find anything else in his record, and so this is just an attempt to smear him and to smear his name and put a black dot on it.”

Pastor Sam Rohrer, who serves as president of both the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and the American Pastors Network and is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, invoked Scripture from the Old Testament in his defense of Kavanaugh.

“The Book of Deuteronomy speaks exactly to what every legislator, every congressman, every senator and every lawyer should be thinking about right now — that every lawmaker who gives credence to unproven accusations are indicting themselves — because they are participating in very bad justice and very bad law,” said Rohrer in a statement.

Rohrer’s case in point: “Our lawmakers and leaders do not recognize that one witness could be a false witness. When they play along, they are dismantling our justice system.”

“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Still, ahead of Monday’s hearing — and per Pastor Rohrer’s suggestion — progressives in Congress who may be intent on derailing Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court might consider shifting their focus to Deuteronomy 19:15 instead.

“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses,” said Rohrer.

See Pastor Jeffress talk about the support from the White House for Kavanaugh in the video below.

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

(photo credit, article image: Rev. Franklin Graham, CC BY 2.0, by Matt A.J.)

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