‘This will be a stark contrast to the grandstanding and chaos that we saw from the other side…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opened the hearing on allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with scathing criticism on the Democratic tactics that had led to incivility and undermined the privacy of both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
“This is a shameful way to treat our witness, who insisted on confidentiality, and of course Judge Kavanaugh, who has had to address these allegations in the midst of a media circus.”
He directly criticized Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein for having kept secret the letter that Ford had given to Democrats from July 30 to Sept. 13, saying the allegations could have been investigated more thoroughly and maintained Ford’s confidentiality if it had been properly handled.
He clarified that the calls to send the allegations to the FBI for investigation were not a normal procedure, quoting then Sen. Joe Biden during the Anita Hill hearings against Justice Clarence Thomas in the early 90s.
“The FBI explicitly does not in this or any other case, reach a conclusion,” he quoted Biden as saying. However, he said the Judiciary Committee had conducted its own thorough investigations. Moreover, he pointed out the fact that Kavanaugh had been vetted by the FBI no less than six times in the past.
“Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports … was there a whiff of any issue … to inappropriate sexual behavior.”
Grassley also addressed the use of female prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, a sex-crimes expert, to conduct the interrogation.
“This will be a stark contrast to the grandstanding and chaos that we saw from the other side.”
Grassley seemed determined to be overly accommodating to Ford, introducing moments of levity after Ford’s opening statement by breaking to get her coffee.
“We’re here to accommodate you, not you accommodate us,” he said after asking when she wanted to take a break.
“I’m used to being collegial,” Ford replied.
Interrogator Rachel Mitchell seemed to come close to rattling Ford on a few questions while trying to seek corrections of the record.
Overall, Ford, despite a vocal fry when recounting her story, seemed well composed. She indicated she was “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh, despite letters from two men the evening prior that were submitted to the Judiciary Committee from men claiming they were the assaulters.