Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) raked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) over the coals on Wednesday after the Republican senator repeatedly harangued and thundered over Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing, refusing to let her finish answering his questions.
Graham’s attacks were “an abrogation of everything the Senate should stand for,” Leahy told reporters outside the chamber.
“You had a Republican member who went way the over time allotted, ignored the rules of the committee, badgered the nominee, would not even let her answer the questions …. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been here 48 years,” the Democratic senator continued.
Leahy accused Graham of having a “political motivation” to come after Jackson.
“To see the badgering of this woman as she’s trying to testify, I thought was outrageous,” the Vermont lawmaker said.
Earlier in the hearing, Graham used his allotted Q&A time to browbeat Jackson over her sentencing practices in child pornography cases, maintaining his fellow GOP senators’ QAnon-adjacent main line of attack (Jackson supposedly being soft on child abusers) — and dialing it up to 100.
“I think you’re doing it wrong,” Graham ranted. “And every judge who is doing what you’re doing is making it easier for children to be exploited.”
The senator would repeatedly fire explosive questions at Jackson, then either cut her off when she tried to respond, or twist her responses to claim that he understood her to be saying child pornography was fine.
“You don’t think that’s a bad thing! I think that’s a horrible thing!” he raged, pointing his finger at her.
Arguably the most unhinged moments came when Graham hammered Jackson on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, which had been temporarily shaken by allegations of sexual assault (though Kavanaugh was, of course, ultimately confirmed).
Ranting that Kavanaugh had been “ambushed” by Democrats, Graham furiously asked Jackson, “How would you feel if we did that to you?”
“I would never do that to you!” the GOP senator declared.
Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out that Jackson didn’t have anything to do with Kavanaugh.
“No, but I’m asking her about how she may feel about what y’all did!” Graham shouted while slamming his hand on the table.
“Senator, I don’t have any comment on what procedures took place in this body regarding Justice Kavanaugh,” the SCOTUS nominee said.
As if on autopilot, Graham immediately asked Jackson yet again, “What’d you think about the Kavanaugh hearing?”
Ultimately, Graham stormed out of the chamber after his turn — just like he had on Tuesday.