Graham defends Kavanaugh’s temperament at hearing as an 'innocent' man 'destroyed for a political purpose'

PHOTO: Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington.PlayWin McNamee/Getty Images
WATCH Graham: 'I have a lot of sympathy' for Ford but 'allegations did not hold up'

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham defended Judge Brett Kavanaugh against some Democrats' criticism that his Senate testimony last week shows he lacks a judicial temperament.

Interested in Supreme Court?

Add Supreme Court as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Supreme Court news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday that Kavanaugh displayed the temperament “of a man who was innocent.”

“I’m offended by the fact that anybody would hold it against Brett Kavanaugh to be upset by the way he was treated,” Graham said. “He’s accused of being a gang rapist, a bumbling, stumbling drunk, a degenerate person, and he was hit by a truck. And my problem is with the people who did this to him, not how he responded.”

PHOTO: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.Jim Bourg/Reuters
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

The senator added, “I find it offensive that if somebody defends themselves against wholesale character assassination trying to destroy him and his family, that -- the temperament I saw was a man who was innocent, who was rightly offended by being destroyed for a political purpose.”

Graham was responding to Stephanopoulos' playing a video clip showing Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono saying that Kavanaugh revealed in his testimony that he is “a partisan, political operative with an agenda” who thus “cannot be a fair and impartial judge.”

PHOTO: Pictured (L-R) Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018. Getty Images
Pictured (L-R) Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018.

Kavanaugh in sometimes fiery and emotional testimony defended himself against an allegation by Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens.

PHOTO: Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.Pool via AFP/Getty Images
Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, 2018.

Although Blasey Ford was the only accuser to testify at the hearing, another women has come forward alleging that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both students at Yale, and a third women has alleged that he engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior toward girls at parties in high school.

Kavanaugh has strongly and categorically denied that he has ever committed sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, he suggested the allegations were fueled by politics.

PHOTO: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham shouts while questioning Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington.Win McNamee/Getty Images
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham shouts while questioning Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," Kavanaugh said. "This is a circus."

Kavanaugh's mention of the Clintons was apparently a reference to when in the 1990s he worked for Ken Starr while Starr was an independent counsel investigating President Bill Clinton and business dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Comments