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

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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. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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