Late in Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) became the first Republican senator to ask a question of a witness. His questions, such as they were, involved a lot of angry yelling.
Lindsey Graham is having a meltdown pic.twitter.com/V8iUkCWSIb
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 27, 2018
Up until this point, which came close to 5pm during a hearing that began at 10am, Republicans allowed an outside prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to ask questions of both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford.
The hearing began with an emotional statement from Ford, who is also known professionally as Dr. Blasey, who said that while she was “terrified” at the prospect of making a public appearance in the committee chamber, she was nevertheless “here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.” By the afternoon, however, it was clear that both Kavanaugh and his Republican allies were enraged that Kavanaugh may face consequences because of these allegations.
Graham’s rant began after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) repeatedly asked Kavanaugh if there should be an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations, and Kavanaugh repeatedly refused to answer the question.
“If you wanted an FBI investigation,” Graham screamed at Durbin, “you could have come to us.”
“What you want to do is destroy this man’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020,” Graham continued. Senate Republicans held a seat on the Supreme Court open for more than a year, refusing to even hold a hearing on President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, in the hopes that they would win in 2016.
“When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello,” Graham continued, “because I voted for them.”
Neither Justice Sonia Sotomayor nor Justice Elena Kagan have ever been accused of attempted rape.