Sen. Lindsey Graham on Kavanaugh’s Accuser: “I Would Gladly Listen to What She Has to Say”

If Christine Blasey Ford speaks to the committee, “it should be done immediately,” Graham said.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

On Sunday afternoon, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would be open to hearing directly from Christine Blasey Ford, the alleged sexual assault victim of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings. Ford came forward publicly for the first time in a Washington Post investigation published earlier Sunday.

Shortly thereafter, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reportedly told The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan that the Senate Judiciary Committee should not move ahead with the vote on Kavanaugh, scheduled for Thursday, until hearing from Ford.

Ford’s account includes being held down, groped, and silenced by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the early ’80s—allegations that Kavanaugh vigorously denies. The details were included in a confidential letter that Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has had since July. She did not release the letter to her colleagues because the alleged victim requested confidentiality. After Ford came forward on Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a statement saying Ford’s account amounted to “uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago,” and blasting Feinstein for not bringing up the letter sooner. 

Graham said he agreed with the committee’s concerns about the “substance and process” of the allegations, but maintained that he would “gladly listen to what she has to say.” If Ford does speak to the committee, he added, “it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled.”

Meanwhile, as the Republican strategy to handle the accusations against Kavanaugh takes shape, Politico reported Sunday evening that President Trump is expected “to go after Kavanaugh’s accuser rather than to turn on the judge,” citing three sources close to the White House.

Note: This article has been updated. 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate