Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has vocally defended embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, displayed the depth and intensity of his fury on Thursday afternoon as Kavanaugh defended himself against sexual misconduct allegations.
Graham declined to defer to prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, selected by the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans to question Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Instead, Graham eviscerated Democrats for their handling of the allegations against Kavanaugh, saying they're willing to destroy Kavanaugh's life for their own political ends.
"If you wanted an FBI investigation you coulda come to us," Graham said, after Democrats on the committee have called for an FBI investigation into Ford's claims. "What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You've said that, not me."
"You've got nothing to apologize for. When you see Sotomayor and Kagan tell them that Lindsey said hello," Graham said, referring to Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. "Because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you've done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you've done to this guy."
Graham then went on to ask Kavanaugh, point-blank, whether he is a "gang rapist," after one woman came forward this week to claim Kavanaugh was "present" when she was "gang-raped."
"No," Kavanaugh flatly responded.
"I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through," Kavanaugh said, before addressing Democrats. "Boy y'all want power, God I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford, none. She's as much of a victim as you are," he said, addressing Kavanaugh. "God, I hate to say it 'cause these have been my friends. But let me tell you -- when it comes to this, you're looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend."
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has riveted Washington, as Ford insisted Thursday she is "100 percent" certain Kavanaugh assaulted her, and Kavanaugh insists he is completely innocent.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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