Dozens of protesters braved the heat outside Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office in Mt. Pleasant Friday, calling for an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh and denouncing Graham’s support for the Supreme Court nominee.
About 36 people eventually gathered outside of the senator’s office in a demonstration that began at noon. The 90-degree weather didn’t stop many of those who showed up from donning all black, a show of solidarity that’s become common since Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, was first identified as the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were both in high school.
On Wednesday, one day before Ford’s testimony, Graham cast doubt on a third allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.
“I have a difficult time believing any person would continue to go to — according to the affidavit — 10 parties over a two-year period where women were routinely gang raped and not report it,” Graham said in a statement. [pullquote-1] Chan Lebeau, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston, shared her own experience with sexual assault by reading a letter to the crowd from her phone.
Word got out after she reported her assault to the dean of her community college in upstate New York. The alleged perpetrator, a professor at the school, was fired.
“I was not believed by my boyfriend and my friends, and so I had to basically leave my hometown where I’m from and find refuge in Charleston, where I found a blossoming feminist community at the College of Charleston,” Lebeau said in an interview during the protest. [content-1] “The fact that [President] Trump says things like, ‘Why didn’t she report?‘ Well, some people do, and look what happens to their lives,” she added.
Lori Clark said she was standing outside of Graham’s office because of how upsetting yesterday’s hearing was.
[image-3]”I am embarrassed by the way Sen. Lindsey Graham represented me and my state and the women who live here, and the men who support women as well,” she said.
The men in attendance described a similar outrage at the accusations against the Trump nominee, Republicans’ words about Ford, and their dismissal of the other accusers who have come forward with their own allegations against Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh currently presides over the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
Ben Bridwell, the lead singer of Band of Horses, said he was angry that committee Republicans were “sneaking a vote” despite the multiple women who have “had the bravery to come up and say ‘this guy’s a shit fuck.'”
Bridwell encouraged his band’s 215,000 Twitter followers to attend Friday’s protest, a first for him.
“I’ve never done this before,” he said. “But I’ve never been so enthused about something I really believe in to actually go do it right, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
[content-2] Sen. Graham has insisted that he will vote to place Kavanaugh in the country’s highest court, but stopped short of dismissing Ford’s allegations when speaking to reporters after her testimony on Thursday.
“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 said.
[image-2] Carrie Moores found that framing problematic during Friday’s protest.
“My problem is that so many of the GOP senators say they believe Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted, but they don’t believe by who,” she said. “I believe if they really believed her, they would take the proper time to investigate and get to the bottom of it.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate on Friday, according to The New York Times, but Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a key swing vote in the confirmation, insisted on waiting for an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegation before the full Senate votes to confirm the nomination.