Sen. Lindsey Graham Spent Another Morning Defending Kavanaugh

“You’re trying to portray him as a stumbling, bumbling, drunk gang rapist.”

Win McNamee/ZUMA Press

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Since allegations of sexual assault have surfaced against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) has emerged as one of his most impassioned defenders. He continued this work today during an appearance on ABC’s This Week.

Just days ago, as the Senate Judiciary Committee last week held hearings to interview psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Graham repeatedly expressed his anger and displeasure with the process. He accused Democrats of falsifying allegations against Kavanaugh for partisan reasons, and threatened to do the same to Democratic Supreme Court nominees one day, announcing, “If this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees.”

Graham told reporters after Ford’s testimony he didn’t think it was strong enough to impugn Kavanaugh’s reputation.  When a rape victim approached him, he brusquely dismissed her. Then, when it was his turn to speak during Kavanaugh’s appearance before the committee, Graham exploded with rage, yelling furiously that Ford’s accusations are an “unethical sham” and that Democrats are out to “destroy” Kavanaugh’s life.

On Sunday, a more in-control but no less impassioned Graham continued his crusade on This Week. He called for a “full scale” investigation into the “despicable process” that led to the hearings, and defended the limited scope of the FBI investigation ordered by Trump this week following pressure from swing Republican vote Sen. Jeff Flake.

ABC’s George Stephanapoulos asked Graham about the reports that the FBI will not question Kavanaugh’s Yale college classmates about why the nominee’s accounts of his youthful drinking—that he sometimes had too many beers but never blacked out or lost memory—differ so starkly from their memories of him as a very heavy drinker. Such questioning could be relevant to the allegations of another Kavanaugh accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh drunkly exposed himself to her during a Yale party.

Graham defended this approach by the FBI, saying, “You’re trying to portray him as a stumbling, bumbling, drunk gang rapist.” He cited the six FBI background checks Kavanaugh has undergone thus far in his career.

Graham also wondered whether someone on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s staff leaked Ford’s sexual assault allegations to the press, a charge both her office and the journalists who first reported on Ford’s letter have repeatedly denied.

In the end, Graham said he was confident Kavanaugh would be confirmed to the high court. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate