Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he’s going to call for an investigation to determine whether anyone on the staff of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was involved in outing Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
“That’s illegal, inappropriate,” Graham, one of Kavanaugh’s biggest allies in the Senate, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “The FBI will do a supplemental background investigation [of the Kavanaugh allegations] then I’m going to call for an investigation of what happened in this committee ― who betrayed Dr. Ford’s trust.”
Blasey had requested confidentiality when she contacted Feinstein’s office in July to tell the senator her allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted Blasey when they were in high school ― which Kavanaugh has denied. However, she ultimately came forward this month in an article published by The Washington Post and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in an extraordinary hearing.
Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, denied during the hearing that she had leaked Blasey’s story to the press earlier this month, explaining that she had honored the psychology professor’s request for confidentiality.
Graham, however, said without citing evidence that he believed “somebody in her office” was the culprit. Blasey has said she decided to go public after reporters began contacting her and her associates, but it is not currently clear where they got her name.
“All I can tell you is it came from somebody with a political motive. … No friend would do this to Dr. Ford,” Graham said, lamenting the “despicable” confirmation process for Kavanaugh.
The Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor after Senate GOP leaders reluctantly agreed to requests from several moderate senators ― including Jeff Flake of Arizona ― to open a limited supplemental FBI investigation into the allegations, lasting up to one week.
A report published by NBC News, however, caused a stir on Saturday when it noted the FBI will specifically not be able to question Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates about his drinking habits, even though alcohol plays a role in Blasey’s claims about the nominee, as well as the claims of two other women who came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
President Donald Trump on Saturday pushed back on reports that the White House had ordered the FBI to limit the scope of the investigation, including the number of alleged witnesses, writing in a tweet that “I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion.”
In his interview on ABC, meanwhile, Graham suggested that he saw no need for the FBI to interview Kavanaugh’s classmates about his alleged drinking habits.
“He’s had six FBI background checks. ... He’s not a stumbling, bumbling drunk,” Graham said on “This Week.”