Graham defends Kavanaugh’s temperament at hearing as an 'innocent' man 'destroyed for a political purpose'
Graham said Brett Kavanaugh was defending against "character assassination."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham defended Judge Brett Kavanaugh against some Democrats' criticism that his Senate testimony last week shows he lacks a judicial temperament.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
"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.