Senate GOP Takes Right Approach to Kavanaugh Allegations

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When news first broke that Professor Christine Blasey Ford had accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of committing attempted sexual assault against her when they were both teenagers — just days before his Senate confirmation vote to become the Supreme Court’s newest justice — many on the Left immediately called for Kavanaugh’s head.

ABC News Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd had this to say, all but condemning Kavanaugh as guilty:

And Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) went further than most of his Democrat colleagues, calling on Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn:

This nomination will not only cast a shadow over Judge Kavanaugh if he were ever to be confirmed… it will also stain the United States Supreme Court irreparably.

Kavanaugh, for his part, strongly denied the allegations in a statement:

This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.

I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.

And acknowledging that allegations of sexual assault deserve to be taken seriously, the White House responded appropriately:

Reporter: “Kellyanne, Ford’s attorney said she’s willing to testify. Should she be heard on Capitol Hill?”

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump: “Absolutely. She should not be insulted. She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill, but that’s up to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They need to decide the forum. And Judge Kavanaugh should also testify as to these 36-year old allegations.”

Conway’s response exemplifies the right way to handle this difficult situation. Yes, the timing of these allegations was politically suspect. Yes, Prof. Ford’s story is filled with inconsistencies. But both individuals deserve a chance to tell their story under oath.

Many have questioned the Senate Democrats’ handling of an allegation they knew about for more than a month. Why didn’t they report it to the authorities? Why did they fail to bring the accusation up during the confirmation hearing? These are all fair questions that should be answered during the hearing next week.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has given Prof. Ford a number of options in order to give her an opportunity to testify, including the option of having a public hearing, a private hearing, a hearing in Washington, D.C., or a private hearing in California with committee staff. No one can credibly suggest that Grassley or the Senate Republicans have been unwilling to hear Prof. Ford’s testimony.

It remains to be seen if Prof. Ford will testify. Judge Kavanaugh has indicated that he will. We hope that both will take their opportunities to tell their stories on Monday, and then the process must move forward.


Jon Schweppe

Jon Schweppe is the Director of Government Affairs for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe