(AP/Susan Walsh)

Lindsey Graham has made it clear: He doesn't believe Brett Kavanaugh's accuser

The senator told Fox News on Sunday that he doesn't think Ford's accusation should "ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life"


Matthew Rozsa
September 23, 2018 8:00PM (UTC)

At least one Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has made it clear that, based on the currently available information, he is not inclined to believe California research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford in her claim that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager by President Donald Trump's future Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

"What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?" Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., exclaimed during an interview on Sunday with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, according to USA Today. "I don't know when it happened, I don't know where it happened. And everybody named in regard to being there said it didn't happen. I'm just being honest. Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this."

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Graham added, "But she should come forward, she should have her say. She will be respectfully treated."

The South Carolina senator also presented the situation as one that needed to be understood within the context of the underlying philosophy of the American judicial system.

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"This accusation has to be looked at in terms of our legal system," Graham told Wallace.

He added, "Everything I know about Judge Kavanaugh goes against this allegation. I want to listen to Dr. Ford. I feel sorry for her. I think she's being used here."

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Graham also defended the Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, by arguing that he "has bent over backward to make this happen" in terms of meeting Ford's requirements for her testimony. At the same time, Graham's comments indicated that he may be predisposed to being skeptical toward Ford's story.
"Bring it forward, I will listen. But I'm not going to play a game here and tell you this will wipe out his entire life," Graham told Wallace.

By contrast Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii — who is also on the Senate Judiciary Committee but serves as a Democrat — told CNN on Sunday that she believes Ford's story, according to Politico.

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"I believe her, let’s put it that way. There’s credibility to her story," Hirono told CNN. She later added, "There’s nothing for her to gain by even coming forward with this."

When discussing what she hoped to learn from Ford during her testimony on Thursday, Hirono explained that she hopes a clearer picture can be painted of the events in question.

"I would be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school," Hirono told CNN. "Apparently, there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. This is why we need an investigation — we need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us."

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In her original letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Ford detailed a harrowing encounter with Kavanaugh when both of them were teenagers in the 1980s.

The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.

Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."

At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Mazie Hirono Supreme Court




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