Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Senators Get Their Message Out Ahead of Brett Kavanaugh Hearing

Patty Aguilar | 18 September, 2018, 21:29

Almost 27 years after her sexual harassment allegations against a Supreme Court nominee were met with disbelief and attacks on her character, Anita Hill is hoping that in this #MeToo moment, the response can be different.

Trump spoke to reporters Monday afternoon in the White House Roosevelt Room where he was peppered with questions just hours after Kavanaugh strongly denied that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl three decades ago when they both were in high school. Katz said, "I would say no one in their right mind regardless of their motive would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of annihilation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go through". Kavanaugh and Ford will both testify, according to reports. "She should be heard".

But there is also potential for overreach for the #MeToo movement - and Democrats - if they argue that one incident, allegedly carried out by a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh, disqualifies an otherwise stellar legal career and seemingly upright character.

"This is a completely false allegation", Kavanaugh said Monday in a written statement. "I think he's very much on track". She discussed the incident publicly with The Washington Post for the first time on Sunday. And I would surely hope she'd come Monday.

That vote has now been postponed so that Kavanaugh and Ford can testify on Monday.

In a statement earlier in the day, Kavanaugh said he had "no idea who was making this accusation" until Christine Blasey Ford alleged in a Washington Post interview published Sunday that Kavanaugh and a friend, both "stumbling drunk", cornered her in a bedroom at a house party in suburban Washington in the early 1980s and that Kavanaugh groped her. Murkowski said Ford's story "must be taken seriously".

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"The accusations leveled against him in no way represent the decent young man I knew", she added. Although Sen. Dianne Feinstein was aware of Ford's story in July, she did not attempt to delay the confirmation process until this month. Hill is now leading an entertainment industry commission on sexual harassment, launched after allegations surfaced against Harvey Weinstein and other industry figures. The person described Kavanaugh as "resolute" and eager to defend himself.

President Donald Trump telegraphed earlier Monday that that schedule might slow.

The committee vote to confirm Kavanaugh, originally set for Thursday, was delayed due to the upcoming hearing. The days of Kavanaugh confirmation hearings were often interrupted by protesters, and Republicans accused Democrats, especially those possible 2020 presidential candidates, of grandstanding. They came forward in the wake of a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that was released in October 2016 in which he is caught saying on a hot mic: "And when you're a star, they let you do it". They include: shame, denial, minimization, fear of the consequences, low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, lack of information, disbelief.

Claire McCaskill, a Democrat senator from a Republican-leaning state of Missouri, said: "I am deeply troubled by these allegations".

As Georgetown University law professor David Super notes, federal law explicitly says these previous statements are not regarded as hearsay when they are used "to rebut an express or implied charge that the declarant recently fabricated it or acted from a recent improper influence or motive in so testifying". She did not raise them during the confirmation hearings or privately in discussions with Kavanaugh. Why?

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