Sen. Lindsey Graham said he will listen to Christine Blasey Ford if she goes to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee — but that's it. Graham says he's not changing his stance on Kavanaugh regardless of anything that Ford might have to say. The senator spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday about the planned testimony, now scheduled for Thursday.
Graham spoke at length about the negotiation surrounding Ford's testimony, but indicated that questioning Ford on Capitol Hill will not change his mind as to whether he'll support Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford accused the president's Supreme Court pick of assault at a party while both were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the accusations. Bustle has reached out to his office for comment.
"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. I'm just being honest. Unless there's something more, no, I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanuagh's life over this." Graham told Wallace. "But she should come forward, she should have her say, she will be respectfully treated."
Graham also pushed back on the conditions of Ford's appearance in front of the committee. He said that the committee had already accepted some of Ford's lawyers' requests but added, "We're not going to let her determine how many people we call. We're going to call Dr. Ford and then Mr. Kavanaugh, the way you would do it in any other situation."
"If they really want to be heard, they can be heard in a small room with a lot of security, limited press availability, she'll be treated fairly," Graham told Wallace. "But we're not going to turn the hearing over to her lawyers."
Wallace asked Graham if the decision to get an outside lawyer — reportedly a woman — to question Ford is about optics, given that the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are all men. Graham said he supports a professional litigator.
"We've got 11 politicians who haven't done a trial in about 20 years," Graham said. "I thought it would be really smart to have someone come in who knows what the hell they're doing, to ask the questions, to be respectful."
Graham himself, at another point in the interview, pointed out how "good [he] was" during the confirmation hearings of Justice Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. "When I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan, nobody on the other side told me to shut up," Graham said. "They told me how fair I was, how good I was."
In the interview, Graham also tried to frame Ford as being reluctant to testify, whereas Kavanaugh would be willing to do so "any day."
"This accusation has to be looked at in terms of our legal system," Graham said. "It's too old for a criminal trial, it's 36 years old. You couldn't bring a civil suit 'cause you can't tell the court what time it happened, where it happened. And if you tried to get a warrant based on this, you couldn't get a warrant."
Wallace interjected later in the interview to note that the State of Maryland does not have a statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.
Graham didn't budge on his position and said the case "wouldn't go anywhere."