Graham: If Kavanaugh goes down under allegations, 'God help us all'

Graham: If Kavanaugh goes down under allegations, 'God help us all'
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (R-S.C.) told reporters Tuesday that the darkest side of American politics would be unleashed if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is taken down by allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I keep telling my colleagues, if this is the new normal, God help us all," Graham told reporters in the hallway, according to Fox News. "Taking Kavanaugh down would unleash forces from the darkest side of American politics in perpetuity."

"And if you think only one side is capable of doing this, you're mistaken," he added.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the summer of 1982. 

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Kavanaugh unequivocally denied the allegation and produced his calendars from the period, which showed no trace of the alleged party.

All three people Ford named as fellow attendees have said they have no memory of the event, including a lifelong friend who said she has never met Kavanaugh though she believes Ford's allegation.

Generally relatively moderate, Graham erupted during Kavanaugh's testimony last Thursday, calling the situation "an unethical sham" and the worst thing he has ever seen in politics.

The senator has been one of the most vocal defenders of Kavanaugh and has gone after Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Feinstein grappling with vote on AG nominee Barr 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony MORE (D-Calif.) for bringing Ford's allegations onto the public stage one week before Kavanaugh's originally scheduled confirmation vote, despite having had them since July. 

"The reason I've been so passionate about this, I voted for [Justices Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan, never thought twice about it," Graham said Tuesday of the Obama appointees. "I could never imagine me engaging in anything like this to take them down."

"I love the law. It keeps us different than other countries," he said, saying that anyone in the U.S. "no matter how high and mighty you are you can still be challenged" but that an allegation alone is "not enough."

"It's about a process, it's about encouraging people to come forward who've been treated badly," he said. "About a process so the person can be accused, can defend themselves, and that there are certain systems in place that will stand the test of time."

Graham expressed hope that this would be "a turning point" and stated that he believes Kavanaugh has the votes to be confirmed, though he doesn't think the judge will "ever be the same."

"I think it's a scary time for principles," he said. "If this is not bottom, God help us all."