Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) erupted on Thursday afternoon during the Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, as he called out the Democrats for their 11th-hour attempt to derail the nomination of Kavanaugh to the high court — and for the way they treated Kavanaugh himself.
Those comments are still now being recalled and replayed — and long will be in the days, weeks and months to come.
Graham’s remarks represented the most spirited and vehement defense of the nominee among committee members and one of the most memorable political outbursts in modern times. He tore into the Democratic members of the committee for their actions over the past weeks, most notably for the way in which Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her office sat on sexual assault accusations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychologist, for weeks and weeks — and then released them only within hours of the vote to move the Kavanaugh nomination along in the process.
(The leak of Ford’s name to the press is still being questioned. Feinstein yesterday fumbled on that point, live on the air, when GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asked her about this.)
“If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us!” said Graham to the Democrats on Thursday during Kavanaugh’s appearance before the committee. “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! You’ve got nothing to apologize for,” he then said to Kavanaugh, addressing him directly. “When you see [Justices Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello, because 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, and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you have done to this guy.”
He also said this: “All I can say is we’re 40-something days away from the elections, and their goal — not Ms. Ford’s goal — is to lay this past the midterms so they can win the Senate. I heard a bunch of speeches from a bunch of politicians who politicized this from day one, who’ve been lying in wait since day one, not Ms. Ford but them.”
Graham said this as well: “If this becomes the new standard, where you have an accusation for weeks, you drop it right before the hearing, you withhold from the committee a chance to do this in a professional, timely fashion when they publicly say that their goal is to delay the vote … I don’t want to reward that kind of behavior,” Graham said. “If that’s enough for you, God help us. … This happens to us, it never happens to them. But let me talk to my Democratic friends: If this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees.”
(See a video of Graham’s remarks by clicking on the related link just below.)
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, said Thursday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” about Lindsey Graham and that exchange: “That moment justified Lindsey Graham’s entire career. He was courageous, blunt, honest, direct, emotional and effective. This has been the most despicable behavior in a major party in modern history.”
Just prior to Gingrich’s remarks to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Graham appeared on “Hannity” Thursday night with host Sean Hannity to share more insight into his beliefs and his afternoon comments.
Don’t miss this video below for Graham’s further explanation: