President Donald Trump, in a statement to the press, claimed that Brett Kavanaugh, who was recently confirmed to the Supreme Court despite being embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal, was the target of "a hoax that was set up by Democrats." The president suggested that Democrats would witness a reckoning next month, on the day of midterm elections.
"I hear that now they're thinking of impeaching a brilliant judge, a man who did nothing wrong, a man who was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats using the Democrats' lawyers and now they want to impeach him," the president said. "I've heard this from many people. I think it's an insult to the American public and I think you're going to see a lot of things happen on November 6th that have not happened before."
The president continued: "The American public has seen this charade, has seen this dishonesty by the Democrats, and when you mention 'impeach a Justice of the Supreme Court' who is a top scholar, top student, top intellect, and who did nothing wrong, and there was no corroboration of any kind, and went through seven FBI investigations––had nothing to do with any of this stuff."
Trump concluded that the allegations against Kavanaugh were "made up," "fabricated," and a "disgrace". His comments were only his latest attacks against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the Stanford University professor who in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month recalled when Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party when they were both in high school. The president had once exercised restraint, calling Dr. Ford a "credible witness."
And he was immediately criticized.
Kavanaugh was confirmed over the weekend amid controversy over the time-limited investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against him. There has been an enormous amount of pushback the FBI’s report has received from politicians and the general public alike in light of the limits placed upon the investigation and the knowledge that the bureau declined to interview the witnesses suggested by the attorneys for Kavanaugh’s accusers.
Democrats have heavily criticized the FBI investigation, calling it a “sham” and “a horrific cover-up.”
“The whole thing is sham. Five days to do the investigation,” said Senator Tim Kaine (VA) last week, noting that many witnesses had not been interviewed.
Referring to a secure location where senators can read the report for a limited amount of time, he said: “And so, here is what they do. There is now a report. One copy. Only one copy that’s available in the Senate SCIF. So they don’t want 100 senators to read it. I’m not allowed to discuss it. The public can’t see it. It’s a complete sham.”
The Washington Post reported that the FBI’s investigation had been “highly curtailed” and that it had focused primarily on the allegations brought to light by Dr. Ford. The FBI did not interview Dr. Ford, deeming her Senate testimony sufficient.
The FBI did interview Deborah Ramirez, who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale fraternity party, but Ramirez’s legal team has no indication that the FBI interviewed any of the corroborating witnesses they provided. Nor did the bureau interview Julie Swetnick, who says Kavanaugh was present at a house party in 1982 where she alleges she was the victim of a gang rape.
The president came under fire last week after he, ahead of the Senate's vote, taunted Dr. Ford during a rally in Mississippi.
“I had one beer!” Trump said, characterizing Dr. Ford’s testimony about her level of intoxication at the time of the attack.
“How did you get home?” the president asked, taking on the role of prosecutor.
“I don’t remember,” he said in his Dr. Ford voice.
“How did you get there?” Trump continued, reverting to his role as prosecutor.
“I don’t remember,” he replied in the Dr. Ford voice.
The president then mockingly asked and answered a series of questions with the responses “I don’t remember” and “I don’t know.” The crowd laughed and cheered behind him. A woman seated behind him held up a bright pink “Women for Trump” sign.
Kavanaugh's fate was in the hands of several undecided senators, including Senator Susan Collins (ME), who in a much-maligned speech on the Senate floor, claimed that she believed Dr. Ford was assaulted, just not by Kavanaugh, despite Dr. Ford's testimony that she could absolutely identify Kavanaugh as the perpetrator. She has since doubled down on her statements.
Dr. Ford has not been able to return home, her attorneys said, and faces a constant stream of death threats.
“This has been terrifying, her family has been through a lot,” Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. “They are not living at home, it’s going to be quite some time before they’re able to live at home. The threats have been unending, it’s deplorable.”