[image-1] Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina remained steadfastly unconvinced that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford after she spent hours testifying in front of him and his colleagues in the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
“I didn’t find her allegations to be corroborated against Mr. Kavanaugh,” Graham told reporters gathered outside of the hearing room, according to video posted by ABC News. “I don’t doubt something happened to her, but she’s saying it’s Brett Kavanaugh, but she can’t tell me the house, she can’t tell me the city, she can’t tell me the month of the year.”
He further said that Ford’s allegations, first reported in The Washington Post on Sept. 16, were part of an effort by Democrats to stall the nomination of a qualified candidate until after the November midterm elections.
“All I can say is that we’re 40-something days away from the election and their goal — not Ms Ford’s goal — is to lay this past the midterms so they can win the Senate and never allow Trump to fill this seat,” Graham said of Senate Democrats. “I believe that now more than ever.”
[image-2] In 2016, 230-something days before the presidential election, Graham and Senate Republicans refused to consider the formal nomination of Judge Merrick Garland by President Barack Obama.
Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, told the committee that she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh is the person who assaulted her during a gathering at a house in Maryland while they were both in high school. She described the most vivid memory of the incident as the laughter she heard coming from Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, while Kavanaugh lied on top of her and, at one point, attempted to cover her mouth.
She described them both as “visibly drunk” in an emotional opening statement.
“It was hard for me to breathe and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” she testified.
Thursday’s hearing was the latest in the Supreme Court confirmation process for Kavanaugh, currently a judge in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated for the lifetime seat by President Donald Trump on July 9.
Sen. Graham also criticized Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s handling of Ford’s letter. Feinstein, a ranking of the Senate Judiciary Committee from California, previously said she did not share a letter detailing Ford’s allegations earlier because of Ford’s wishes to remain anonymous at the time.
“If you really believe we needed an investigation of this, why didn’t you tell us in August?” Graham asked.
Appearing before the Senate committee Thursday afternoon, Kavanaugh continued to categorically deny the allegations against him.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh said.
Graham gave an impassioned speech during senators’ questioning of Kavanaugh, telling the judge that he has nothin to apologize for and assailing his colleagues on the committee.
“These have been my friends, but when it comes to this, if you’re looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time,” he said.
“I hope you’re on the Supreme Court, that’s exactly where you should be,” Graham continued. “I wish you well and I intend to vote for you, and I hope that everybody who’s fair minded will.”