After Jeff Flake’s last-minute, well, flaking, which didn’t really work well, Lindsey Graham spoke with reporters about what happened and what happens next.
During the hearing, Graham helpfully pointed out that no matter what is said in the committee about hoping for an FBI investigation, none of that binds Sen. McConnell once the nomination is on the floor. So, the spotlight turns to McConnell and Sens. Collins and Murkowski, who hopefully will render Flake irrelevant.
I think I know what happened. I hope some Democrats will say that if we do what Jeff said, that will end the process dispute.
Jeff’s trying his best to bring the country together…the best way he knows how. So I don’t know if that’s the agreement.
Will McConnell agree to this?
“I don’t know. That’s why I’m going to talk to him right now. Last time I looked, you need 50 votes.”
He was asked if he thought the investigation was a good idea, and how this could affect Collins and Murkowski, and reiterated that he’s not speaking for anyone else. Suddenly another realization hit him, and with a bit of a laugh he said:
Somebody’s gotta explain this to Trump, so I guess that’ll be my job.
After a few minutes of processing, Graham came back to the microphones and clarified that the FBI investigation Flake envisions is limited to ONLY the existing information before the Senate, nothing more, and no more than a week. (Which, predictably, Sen. Coons is already backing away from.) Asked why Flake changed his mind today, Graham said his Democrat colleagues were bending Flake’s ear, and:
Jeff’s a really good guy. I wouldn’t have done it….
It’s 35 years ago. You know what you’re gonna know; you’ve heard what you’re gonna hear. I think the number of people in the country who are going to feel differently a week from now you can probably put in a phone booth. However, if Jeff feels better about it, I feel better about it.
Flake was accosted by a “protester” during a break in today’s proceedings, a woman who screamed at him about letting “someone like Kavanaugh” be confirmed to the Supreme Court. A reporter asked Graham if that possibly could have been the impetus behind Flake’s sudden shift, and Graham spoke the most truthful words of the day:
Listen. This is Jeff Flake.
What a long day it’s been so far, and fortunately those of us watching at home can mute it and ignore the crazy train for a bit if we have to. Graham has shown spine and grit this week; let’s hope he can keep it up over the weekend.