Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) snapped at a woman protesting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, telling her: “Why don’t we dunk him in water and see if he floats.”
The senator, an ardent Kavanaugh backer, was speaking to reporters at the Capitol on Thursday after the Senate was given the FBI’s findings on sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. A protester who was present confronted him about Kavanaugh not taking a polygraph test.
“If he would [take] a polygraph, this would all be over, Senator Graham,” the protester said.
Graham responded by saying, “You’ve humiliated this guy enough and there seems to be no bottom for some of you,” before attempting to address a reporter. When the protester continued to talk, Graham made the “dunk him in water” remark.
Graham was likely referring to the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, in which people accused of witchcraft, often women, were thrown in water to prove their innocence. If they sank, they were not considered a witch.
“The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), noting specifically that the FBI didn’t interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, one of the three women who accused him of sexual misconduct or assault. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Swing senators whose votes could make or break Kavanaugh’s confirmation have hinted as to how they will vote after the findings were released. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), whose indecision last week prompted the FBI investigation, told reporters that he saw “no additional corroborating information” about the claims.
Graham has been vocal about his feelings toward Kavanaugh’s confirmation. On Wednesday, he told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that he thought Kavanaugh was being “treated like crap.” When the crowd responded with resounding boos, Graham responded: “Yeah, well boo yourself.”