South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has been an outspoken supporter of Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination despite accusations of sexual misconduct, made the suggestion, saying that it would essentially make the nomination a major campaign issue ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
“I believe Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court very soon,” Mr Graham said. “However, if his nomination were to fall short, I would encourage President Trump to renominate Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It would – in effect – be appealing the Senate’s verdict directly to the American people”.
“The midterm elections are only 35 days away and a new group of senators may view Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination very differently after hearing from the voters in their states,” he continued.
Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination has been fraught with controversy in recent weeks after three women came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct, including one woman who said that he attempted to rape her during a party 36 years ago when they were both teenagers.
Dr Christine Blasey Ford made that accusation, saying that Mr Kavanaugh held her down, groped her, and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming at a house party when they were both in high school. Mr Kavanaugh has denied these accusations.
The second accusation against Mr Kavanaugh came from Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her and forcing her to touch his penis against her will at a party while they both attended Yale University. Mr Kavanaugh has also denied these allegations.
The third accusation came from Julie Swetnick, who singed a sworn declaration saying that she witnessed Mr Kavanaugh drinking excessively at house parties, and engaging “in abusive and physically aggressive behaviour toward girls” between 1981 and 1983. That sworn declaration also said Ms Swetnick had witnessed Mr Kavanaugh and others purposefully get girls inebriated so they could be “gang raped” in side rooms of the party – though she stopped short of saying she had witnessed Mr Kavanaugh raping anyone.
Mr Kavanaugh, again, has denied these allegations.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination to the whole Senate last week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he plans on bringing the nomination to a vote sometime this week.
Meanwhile, the FBI has opened an investigation into at least a portion of the allegations made against Mr Kavanaugh. Mr McConnell has suggested that he expects that the FBI’s findings will not be made public, but that senators will have access to the report before voting on the nominee.
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