Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., advised President Trump to renominate Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court if his confirmation crumbles in the Senate under a wave of sexual assault allegations.
Part two of this strategy would be to wait until the 2018 midterm elections to play out as a de facto referendum, particularly in "Trump states."
"Here's what I would tell the president, I would appeal the verdict of the Senate to the ballot box," Graham told host Sean Hannity in an interview Monday evening.
"This way the American people will have the last say, he emphasized," adding, "I’d ask voters in Indiana and Missouri and North Dakota and other places where Trump won saying who he would nominate if he got to be president and see if voters want to appeal the verdict of their senator."
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Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC on if Kavanaugh loses a Senate floor vote: "I would renominate him and I would take this case to the American people." #Hannity pic.twitter.com/9r0rdcaeez— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 2, 2018
Kavanaugh denies all the allegations of sexual misconduct and delivered an emotional defense of himself to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday after one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, had a chance to testify.
Graham also offered an impassioned speech that day, casting blame on his Democratic colleagues for desperately trying to derail the nomination by any means necessary. "What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020. You’ve said that, not me. You’ve got nothing to apologize for,” he said.
He echoed those sentiments Monday, arguing that giving up on Kavanaugh would be "legitimizing the worst tactics I’ve seen."
"I think we’re going to get 50 plus," he added, "but if we fell one vote short, for the good of the nation I would appeal this to the people of the country and let them have a say."
After Kavanaugh's nomination advanced past the Judiciary Committee on Friday, momentum in the confirmation process hit a speed bump when Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and three key swing lawmakers, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., demanded a supplemental background FBI investigation before a full Senate vote.
Under pressure from members of his own party, President Trump authorized a supplemental FBI investigation Friday, which is expected to wrap by the end of the week. However, Democrats are already complaining that the inquiry is too limited in scope, which prompted Trump to lash out Sunday, tweeting, "For them, it will never be enough — stay tuned and watch!"