Graham Blasts 'Gang Rape' Accusation Against Kavanaugh as 'Over the Top'

September 26, 2018

In the halls of the Capitol Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) described his skepticism about accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Graham said he is suspicious of the latest accusation by Julie Swetnick, who is represented by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. The attorney and frequent critic of President Donald Trump has been angling for a 2020 presidential run. Swetnick alleges in an affidavit that Kavanaugh was part of an operation in high school where women were drugged and "gang raped," and she claims to have been at the parties after she graduated high school.

"I’m telling you that affidavit, if it doesn't jump out at you as being strange—that you would go to 10 parties over two years where you witnessed drugging and raping and you kept coming back and back, and you never told anybody, you never warned any of your girlfriends—I find that to be over the top," Graham said.

Kavanaugh has not simply denied the latest accusation, but said he didn’t know Swetnick and he considers the whole story something from "The Twilight Zone." Graham said the evidence doesn’t add up when there’s no evidence Kavanaugh has ever participated in anything like this.

"If you're a serial rapist during high school, you don’t stop. He's not Bill Cosby," Graham said. "He's led an incredible life. He’s had power over women in the workplace. Everybody says he's very respectful."

"He says he never hung out with the lady," Graham also said. "And the more we know about the difference in age and time, it smells bad to me. I've been very suspicious."

The senator said he will believe Kavanaugh when he says he has no connection to Swetnick until evidence emerges to show otherwise.

"[Kavanaugh] has said that he does not know her, he's never been to a party with her that he knows about, his circle of friends. And quite frankly, that is enough to me until something changes, and anything coming out of the Avenatti lane two days before the vote I treat very suspiciously," he said.

Graham said Swetnick should speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee but that the vote should "absolutely not" be delayed, as Democrats are requesting. Democrats have argued Kavanaugh does not have the presumption of innocence owing to his judicial positions and the seriousness of the allegations.

He reiterated his desire to hear from Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her at a party in high school while he was drunk. Kavanaugh has denied that accusation as well, and none of those Ford alleges were at the party have backed up her story.

"Ms. Ford’s allegation—I think something happened to her. We’re going to listen to her tomorrow, but all the corroborating witnesses go the other way. I've always been interested in hearing from her. But this is getting into the Twilight Zone," Graham said.

Graham was also asked about Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, who supposedly participated in these incidents.

"You know, Mark Judge is now being accused of being a criminal," Graham said. "If I were him, I would be careful of the times in which we live."