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

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. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.