Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Thursday ripped Senate Democrats' opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, calling their roll out of sexual assault allegations against him "the most unethical scam since I've been in politics."
In a bitter attack launched after Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., questioned Kavanaugh during the Senate Judicial Committee's hearing on Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against the high-court nominee, Graham denounced Senate Democrats for withholding the explosive allegations for weeks.
"What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020," he declared, adding: "Not me. I hope the American people can see through this sham."
He darkly warned Senate Republicans: "If you vote no [on the confirmation], you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics."
"I hope that the American people will see through this charade," he said.
Graham lamented to Kavanaugh that Ford is "as much of a victim as you are."
"God, I hate to say it, because these have been my friends," he told Kavanaugh. "Let me tell you, when it comes to this, you're looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend."
And he also warned the repercussions of Kavanaugh's nomination process will haunt future hearings.
"This is hell," he said. "This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also blasted Democrats for tactics that have "brought us no closer to the truth."
"This man is not a monster," Hatch declared.
"The circus atmosphere that's been created since my Democratic colleagues first took Dr. Ford's allegations to the media two weeks ago – after sitting on them for six weeks, I might add – has brought us the worst in our politics," he said. "It certainly has brought us no closer to the truth. Anonymous letters with no name and no return address are now being treated as national news. Implausible claims are driving the new cycle.
"I understand the desire of my colleagues to tear down this man at any cost," he added. "But let's at least be fair and look at the facts or the absence thereof. Guilt by association is wrong. Immaturity does not equal criminality."
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