Lindsey Graham does not need to hear Christine Blasey Ford testify to know how he will be voting on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The South Carolina Senator said on Sunday that he does not want to “ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life” over allegations from Ford that he attacked and sexually assaulted her at a party in high school. As Politico noted, Graham said that Ford’s testimony will not change his mind of Kavanaugh.
“You can’t bring it in a criminal court, you would never sue civilly, you couldn’t even get a warrant,” Graham said in an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
“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.”
Graham was not correct on that point. Because the alleged crime took place in Maryland, there is no statute of limitations and Ford can pursue criminal charges if she wished.
Ford had been in negotiations with the Senate Judiciary Committee for days on a plan to testify about her allegations, and the two sides have come to a tentative agreement to hold a hearing on Thursday. Ford had asked for a number of conditions, including speaking only to Senators and not to outside investigators.
But Graham, who has been one of the most vocal Senators in supporting Kavanaugh and calling for his confirmation hearings to move forward, believes he has seen enough to know that the evidence does not support Ford’s accusation.
“Unless there’s something more, no I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this,” Graham said. “But she should come forward, she should have her say, she will be respectfully treated.”
“I’m not going to play and game here and tell you this will wipe out his entire life,” Graham added, “Because if nothing changes, it won’t with me.”
Republicans have started to close ranks around Kavanaugh, with President Donald Trump taking aim at Ford last week in a tweet where he cast doubt on her allegations. Trump said that if the allegations were true, she would have come forward to report it to police at the time it happened. That sparked a backlash among sexual assault survivors, many of whom said they felt frightened or ashamed to come forward to report their abuse.
Christine Blasey Ford has called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to call on another witness who she claims was in the room when she was assaulted, but the committee has not agreed.