Politics

Senate Judiciary Members Escorted Through Protests by Police

Graham and Kennedy among those escorted near Senate subway

Capitol Police escort Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., through a handful of protesters and the media to the Senate subway in the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A number of Republican senators received police escorts Tuesday afternoon to get them past demonstrators gathered in the basement of the Russell Building near the terminus of the Senate subway.

Among them were Republican members of the Judiciary Committee Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

In addition to uniformed Capitol Police, Graham was accompanied by the deputy sergeant at arms James Morhard.

At one point, protesters who said they were representing sexual abuse survivors started shouting at Graham in the Russell basement.

Morhard shouted back.

“I’m sorry, I’m talking to him, alright?”

Security Increases for Senate Judiciary Members as Tensions Heighten on the Hill

Walking through the tunnel, Graham told a small group of reporters that he had never seen anything quite like what he was now experiencing.

“This is dangerous. I had somebody that wouldn’t let an elevator shut. An Iraq War veteran. I appreciate his service, but I just have a different opinion of Judge Kavanaugh,” Graham said. “I tried to make that clear.”

Graham, who could be in line to be Judiciary Committee chairman next year, has been among the most vocal defenders of Kavanaugh.

“I believe Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court very soon. However, if his nomination were to fall short, I would encourage President Trump to re-nominate Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It would — in effect — be appealing the Senate’s verdict directly to the American people,” the South Carolina Republican said in a statement earlier Tuesday. “The midterm elections are only 35 days away and a new group of senators may view Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination very differently after hearing from the voters in their states.”

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