“What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020,” Graham said in response to a line of questions from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) pressing Kavanaugh about why he hasn’t welcomed an FBI investigation into the three sexual misconduct allegations against the judge.
Graham then addressed Kavanaugh directly, telling the judge, “You’ve got nothing to apologize for.”
Kavanaugh is testifying in one last Senate hearing before a confirmation vote set for Friday. Earlier this month, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when the two were at a high school party.
Graham did not hold back when chastising the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing the group of creating a political ploy to deny Kavanaugh, a conservative judge, a seat on the Supreme Court.
“I would never do to them what you’ve done to this guy,” Graham yelled, pointing at Durbin. “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 continued his condemnation of the Democrats, telling Kavanaugh that he could “not imagine” what he and his family have been through since Blasey came forward with her accusation.
“Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham,” Graham said to the Democrats on the committee.
“God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends, but let me tell you when it comes to this,” he continued, “You’re looking for a fair process you came to the wrong town at the wrong time my friend.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders showed support for Graham’s comments on Twitter, writing: “Lindsey Graham has more decency and courage than every Democrat member of the committee combined. God bless him.”
Graham’s passionate defense of Kavanaugh came after Durbin repeatedly asked Kavanaugh why he refused to call for an FBI investigation.
“Turn to [White House counsel] Don McGahn and to this committee and say for the sake of my reputation, my family name and to get to the bottom of the truth of this, I am not going to be an obstacle to an FBI investigation,” Durbin urged. “I would hope that all the members of the committee would join me in saying that we’re going to abide by your wishes, and we’re going to have that investigation.”
Durbin and Kavanaugh then got into a heated debate, loudly speaking over one another with Kavanaugh becoming visibly flustered.
“I welcome whatever the committee wants to do because I’m telling the truth,” Kavanaugh said.
“I want to know what you want to do,” Durbin responded.
“I’m innocent,” Kavanaugh said, raising his voice.” I’m innocent of this charge.”
“Then you’re prepared for an FBI investigation?” Durbin reiterated.
“They don’t reach conclusions, you reach the conclusion senator,” Kavanaugh said, to which Durbin responded: “No, but they do investigate questions.”
“If there is no truth to her charges, the FBI investigation will show that. Are you afraid that they might not?” Durbin later asked.
After the exchange, Durbin once again asked if Kavanaugh would comply with an FBI investigation to clear his name. In response, the judge simply sat there silent seemingly unable to find an answer.
In addition to Blasey’s allegations, two other women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.