South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he does not expect to be swayed against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even after he hears from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.
“What am I supposed to do, go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation?” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” He added, “I’m just being honest. Unless there’s something more, no, I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this. But she should come forward. She should have her say. She will be respectfully treated.”
Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been engaged in talks with Ford’s attorneys about having her and Kavanaugh testify. She has alleged Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in their high school years, and Kavanaugh has denied the allegation. Kavanaugh has said he wanted to testify before the committee to refute the allegation, and Ford’s attorneys have told the committee that she has accepted their request for testimony.
Graham said Sunday that the GOP-led committee would not “turn the hearing over” to Ford’s attorneys, but had accepted some of their conditions for her testimony.
“If they can’t accept that, that means they really don’t want to testify,” Graham said.
All of the committee’s Republican members are men, and Graham defended the idea of having a female lawyer do their questioning of Ford.
“Well, we’ve got 11 politicians who haven’t done a trial in about 20 years,” Graham said. “I thought it’d be really smart to have somebody come in and knows what the hell they’re doing, to ask the questions, to be respectful.”
Graham said he felt sorry for Ford, who he said was “being used” by opponents of Kavanaugh and President Donald Trump, and pledged to hear her out while stressing that he did not expect her testimony to change his vote.
“I will listen, but I’m not going to play a game here and tell you this will wipe out his entire life,” Graham said. “‘Cause if nothing changes, it won’t with me.”