The confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been indefinitely delayed following the sudden emergence of a vague allegation of sexual misconduct, which has Senate Democrats hollering for an FBI investigation into the nearly four-decades-old claim.
Kavanaugh’s accuser, Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford, refuses to testify in a Senate hearing regarding her allegation unless an FBI investigation is completed. Supported in this demand by the Democrats, she is also being backed up by another woman who’s been in a similar position — Anita Hill, who says an investigation must take place in order to have “an effective hearing.”
In 1991, Hill similarly accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct in the middle of his confirmation process.
In an interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS‘ “Newshour” on Wednesday, Hill was asked about the latest developments in the Kavanaugh allegation — Senate Republicans are calling for hearings on Monday featuring both Ford and Kavanaugh and the Senate committee staff conducting an investigation of the claims rather than the FBI, who’ve already conducted six background checks on Kavanaugh and have no jurisdiction over 36-year-old allegations with no additional evidence that would at best be state-level — and not federal — crimes.
Hill said she strongly believes that an FBI investigation is necessary, saying, “My belief is that, without an investigation, there cannot be an effective hearing.”
She added that a Senate staffer-led investigation is “not sufficient” due to the fact that, “I know what their staffs’ qualifications are. But I doubt that they are qualified to carry out this investigation in a neutral fashion.”
Hill also suggested that Republican senators didn’t want an FBI investigation because they’d already made their minds up about Kavanaugh, and accused them of not understanding the difference between a general FBI background check investigation and a more specific investigation into the alleged crime.
Too much partisanship
Woodruff raised the real possibility that no additional evidence to corroborate Ford’s claim would ever be found, but Hill essentially dismissed that and suggested that the FBI would find something if they took the time to look. She concluded, “We need to let that play out and to make sure that we have turned over every stone to get to the facts of this situation.”
“I think it’s in the best interest of both Dr. Blasey Ford, as well as the interest of Judge Kavanaugh,” said Hill, as well as “the American public and the court.”
Hill was also asked about the current partisan divide in the country and whether anyone in this kind of situation, both accuser and nominee, could receive a fair hearing.
“It’s possible, if people are willing to put aside partisanship for higher ideals, for the betterment of the court or for what is in the best interest of the public,” she said, and later added, “We can’t promise (Ford) an outcome in a fair hearing, but what we ought to be able to promise her is a fair hearing and a thorough investigation.”
“I think it’s ironic that we have senators who are deciding about who is going to sit on the highest court, but they can’t really put partisanship aside long enough to put together a fair hearing to get to the truth about this situation,” she added, perhaps oblivious to the fact that she was indicting obstructionist Senate Democrats with her statement that was undoubtedly aimed at Republicans.
Anita Hill, whose last-minute accuser of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas failed to derail his nomination, is unsurprisingly supporting Ford’s allegations and has joined in the Democrat demands for a full FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
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