Sen. Lindsey Graham seeks investigation of 'despicable process' behind Kavanaugh hearing

WASHINGTON – Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he will call for an investigation into Democrats' involvement in a "despicable process" leading up to Christine Blasey Ford's testimony on her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Judiciary Committee member Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a markup hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 28, 2018, on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. - Kavanaugh's contentious Supreme Court nomination will be put to an initial vote Friday, the day after a dramatic Senate hearing saw the judge furiously fight back against sexual assault allegations recounted in harrowing detail by his accuser.

Graham, R-S.C., called for a probe into, among other things, who "betrayed Dr. Ford's trust" by leaking to the media her confidential letter about the allegations, why Ford didn't know the committee would come to her in California and who in Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office referred Ford to her lawyer, which he said is "illegal, inappropriate in the Senate."

"We’re going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again," Graham said on ABC's "This Week."

Graham, a Senate Judiciary Committee member who delivered a fiery defense of Kavanaugh during his hearing on Thursday, has emerged as one of President Donald Trump's biggest allies on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Graham accepted denials from Feinstein, the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, that she leaked Ford's confidential letter. But he noted that only Ford's lawyers, Feinstein's office, and the staff of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., were in possession of it, and said "it came from somebody with a political motive."

"No friend would do this to Dr. Ford. I believe her when she said she wanted to remain anonymous," Graham said. "I’m going to make sure that when this debacle is over, that we look at what happened to deter it in the future."

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Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who has been one of Ford's most outspoken defenders, said such talk is a distraction.

"All of these things do not focus on what we should be focusing on which is the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh," she said later on "This Week."

If Democrats take back the House in November, Kavanaugh could face another investigation. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who would become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats succeed, said on "This Week" that the House would have to investigate if Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court and the Senate hasn't followed through with an investigation. 

"We would have to investigate any credible allegation certainly of perjury and other things that haven't been properly looked into before," he said.

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