Judge Brett Kavanaugh released his official opening statement to be delivered before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday; saying “sexual assault is horrific” and adding recent allegations against the potential Supreme Court Justice are “inconsistent with the rest of his life.”
Kavanaugh disclosed the statement Wednesday afternoon, just hours after a new accuser claimed the judge and his friends were present at multiple parties in the early 1980s where widespread sexual assault occurred on a routine basis.
Read Kavanaugh’s full opening statement below:
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee: Eleven days ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing a serious wrong more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically. The next day, I told this Committee that I wanted to testify as soon as possible, under oath, to clear my name.
Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired. There has been a frenzy to come up with something-anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious-that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minute smears, pure and simple. They debase our public discourse. And the consequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination-if allowed to succeed-will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.
As I told this Committee the last time I appeared before you, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I am and will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone-not in high school, not in college, not ever.
Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all people are created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Allegations of sexual assault must be taken seriously. Those who make allegations deserve to be heard. The subject of allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is a foundation of the American rule of law.
Dr. Ford’s allegation dates back more than 36 years, to a party that she says occurred during our time in high school. I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that’s not why we are here today. What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.
The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women.
I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford. I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in someplace at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge.
GRASSLEY SPEAKS: Senate Judiciary Chairman Releases Kavanaugh Statement
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley released a statement regarding President Trump’s pick to join the Supreme Court Monday afternoon; saying Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser “deserves to be heard” in an “appropriate manner.”
Grassley officially commented on the growing controversy just days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein disclosed a letter sent to the FBI that contained allegations of sexual misconduct when Kavanaugh attended high school approximately 35 years ago.
“Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” said the statement from Grassley’s office.
The Senator added the Judiciary Committee will be “working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”
“The standard procedure for updates to any nominee’s background investigation file is to conduct separate follow-up calls with relevant parties,” said the statement.
Read the full report at the Hill.
UPDATE: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Attorney Has Concerns Over ‘Fairness’ of Hearings
The attorney for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser threw Thursday’s Congressional hearings into doubt this week; saying there were serious concerns over the “fairness” of the proceedings.
The lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford sent the strongly-worded letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley; questioning the format of the hearings after Sen. Mitch McConnell called the allegations against Kavanaugh a “smear campaign.”
“We are finding it difficult to reconcile your letter and [staff member Mike Davis’] note with the Majority Leader’s speech this afternoon on the Senate floor. As Dr. Blasey Ford has been clear since her experience was first made public, she came forward because she believes it is her civic duty to tell the truth about the sexual assault she experienced,” wrote her attorney.
“This hearing plan that Mr. Davis described does not appear designed to provide Dr. Blasey Ford with fair and respectful treatment,” added the lawyer. “In our view, the hiring of an unnamed ‘experienced sex crimes prosecutor,’ as Mr. Davis described in his email, is contrary to the Majority’s repeated emphasis on the need for the Senate and this Committee’s members to fulfill their constitutional obligations.”
Read the full report at Fox News.