Orrin Hatch: I Won’t Let Kavanaugh Confirmation Be Stalled Over ’11th Hour Accusation’
Senator Orrin Hatch has a lengthy statement out today defending Brett Kavanaugh and calling the allegation against him “wholly unverifiable.”
After Senator Dianne Feinstein confirmed turning over a letter to the FBI regarding the Supreme Court nominee, The New Yorker reported on the specifics of the sexual misconduct allegation:
The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.
Kavanaugh said in a statement that he “categorically and unequivocally” denies that this ever happened.
Hatch today expressed his disgust at how Kavanaugh’s been treated and said, “I do not intend to allow Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be stalled because of an 11th hour accusation that Democrats did not see fit to raise for over a month.”
“Every accuser deserves to be heard,” he said in the statement. “But a process of verification is also necessary. In this case, the accusations were made in a private letter, which has been misrepresented in a number of media stories, from an accuser who has declined to go public and has asked for privacy.”
You can read the full statement below:
Brett Kavanaugh has done everything that’s been asked of him. He’s complied with six background checks over the last 25 years that have included interviews with friends, families, and even acquaintances, none of which have ever revealed an issue with his character. After over 30 hours of public hearing, his judicial record, qualifications, and understanding of the law stood unimpeachable. He participated in a closed hearing where Judiciary Committee members could ask any question they wanted. He answered more written questions than every previous Supreme Court nominee combined.
Judge Kavanaugh has had his words distorted and manipulated. He has been accused of having gambling problems, having financial problems, being hostile towards groups that he has actively fought for, and having bad taste in food. And he has answered questions fully and professionally, in a confirmation timeframe well within the norm for Supreme Court nominations.
I do not intend to allow Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be stalled because of an 11th hour accusation that Democrats did not see fit to raise for over a month. The Senator in the best position to determine the credibility of these accusations made the conscious decision not to take action on them, and the authorities to whom the accusations have been referred have decided not to take action either. Judge Kavanaugh has denied these accusations categorically, the only other potential witness has no recollection of the alleged event, and now 65 women who knew Brett in high school have come forward as witnesses of his strong character.
Every accuser deserves to be heard. But a process of verification is also necessary. In this case, the accusations were made in a private letter, which has been misrepresented in a number of media stories, from an accuser who has declined to go public and has asked for privacy. The letter sent to investigators has had her name redacted, meaning no further investigation could take place. The claims are wholly unverifiable, and come at the tail-end of a process that was already marred by ugly innuendo, dishonesty, and the nastiest form of our politics. The American people deserve much better from the Senate as an institution.
[image via screengrab]
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