Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), seizing control of the questioning from the lawyer that Judiciary Committee Republicans put in charge of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Thursday confirmation hearing, unloaded on Democrats who have been demanding an FBI investigation.
“If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life,” he said, pointing directly at the witness table, “hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. You said that. Not me.”
Turning back to Kavanaugh, Graham said, “You’ve got nothing to apologize for. When you see [Justices Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello. ‘Cause I voted for all of them.”
Addressing 11th-hour sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh, Graham noted that committee Democrats have sat on accusations since shortly after President Donald Trump made the nomination on July 9 — and deployed them only as the committee was within hours of voting.
Kavanaugh said he did not know until Thursday that even as he was meeting with ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California on August 20, she already knew about the allegations and already had suggested the accuser hire a lawyer with Democratic connections.
Those facts make a farce out of Democrats’ call for an FBI investigation, Graham said.
Graham, who has a reputation for bipartisan collegiality — sometimes even to the point of annoying fellow Republicans — thundered with indignation.
“I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy,” Graham continued, again pointing to his Democratic colleagues on the dais. “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 do what you’ve done to this guy.”
Graham told Kavanaugh, “I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through,” before again turning toward the Democrats. “Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham.”
Graham apologized to the nominee.
“You’re looking for a fair process? You’ve come to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend,” he said.