Graham: 'What Am I Supposed to Do? Go Ahead and Ruin This Guy's Life Based on an Accusation?'

By Susan Jones | September 24, 2018 | 5:33am EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks at the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on September 6, 2018 in Washington, D.C.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he will give Dr. Christine Blasey Ford a fair hearing if she does appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but he indicated that her case is weak.

"And here's what I told my colleagues, this accusation has to be looked at in terms of our legal system. It's too old for criminal trial, it's 36 years old. You couldn't bring a civil suit because you can't tell the court what time it happened and where it happened," Graham told "Fox News Sunday."


"And if you try to get a warrant based on this, you couldn't get a warrant because the three people named by Dr. Ford as having been at the party outside of Kavanaugh all say they don't know what she's talking about. So, you couldn't go to criminal trial, you couldn't sue civilly. You couldn't even get a warrant. But I will listen to what she has to say."

Host Chris Wallace asked Graham if there's anything Ford could say that would persuade him to vote against Kavanaugh's nomination:

I want to -- I want to listen to her but I'm being honest with you and everybody else. What do you expect me to do? You can't bring it in a criminal court. You would never sue civilly. You couldn't even get a warrant.

What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation -- 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, but she should come forward. She should have her say. She will be respectfully treated.

What did you expect us to do with an anonymous letter to begin with? What do you expect somebody to do with an accusation this vague, not verified in any way?

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 because if nothing changes, it won't with me.

Asked about the criticism of Sens. Kirstein Gillibrand and Mazie Hirono, two partisan Democrats who say they believe Ford's story even before hearing her speak, Graham said the two are motivated by Trump “hatred."

"When I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan, nobody on the other side told me to shut up. They told me how fair I was, how good I was," Graham said. "All I would tell my colleagues -- I know you hate Trump. I'm going to look at this from a prism of being reasonable and fair to Judge Kavanaugh. 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. People, in my view, are using her. If she truly wanted to be anonymous, the person who brought this accusation to the public owe her an apology.

"I will do the following: listen to Dr. Ford, compare the two everything in the record and make a decision. This accusation is 36 years old. I don't know when it happened, I don't know where it happened and all the people who have been named say it didn't happen.

"So, these two senators have an agenda that's related to their hatred for President Trump. I'm trying to be fair here and get this thing done in a reasonable way to Judge Kavanaugh as well as Dr. Ford."

Graham said Ford and her lawyers have laid out ten conditions for her testimony and the committee has agreed to six.

"We're not going to let her determine how many people we would call. We're going to call Dr. Ford and then Mr. Kavanaugh is the way you would do it in any other condition, and we will hire our own lawyers and that's it.

"If they can't accept that, that means they really don't want to testify. Judge Kavanaugh is ready to go right now, Monday, Thursday, anytime."

By the end of Sunday, The New Yorker was reporting the drunken "recollections" of a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's:

The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

("The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party," the magazine reported.)

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