President Donald Trump said Thursday that the Senate Judiciary Committee should move swiftly to finish vetting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and ridiculed Democrats who are calling for an FBI investigation into a sex-assault allegation dating back to 1982.
Committee Republicans are trying to secure a commitment from accuser Christine Ford to appear at a hearing on Monday, but Democrats are calling for an FBI investigation before the process can move forward.
‘I say let her say what she has to say and let’s see how it all comes out,’ Trump told Fox news Channel host Sean Hannity inside a Las Vegas arena before a scheduled rally.
‘But they’ve delayed it a week, and they have to get on with it.’
Minutes later the president stood behind his podium and exclaimed: ‘Look at our judges! What’s going on?’
Thousands spontaneously began chanting Kavanaugh’s name.
President Donald Trump defended Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday and mocked Democrats who want an FBI investigation into a woman’s claim that he sexually assaulted her in 1982. ‘Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?’ the president asked
Trump said Thursday in Las Vegas that the U.S. Senat should ‘get on with it’ and confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
Trump defended his nominee and didn’t mention the name of Christne Ford, a woman who claims Judge Kavanaugh groped and tried to undress her at a high school party more than three decades ago
In his pre-rally interview, Trump called Kavanaugh ‘an outstanding person’ and dismissed the demands for an FBI probe.
‘You say, “Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?”‘ the president said, declaring that Kavanaugh’s opponents have tried to ‘besmirch’ him.
The FBI has conducted six background checks on Kavanaugh, including some when he was first nominated to a federal judgeship in 2006.
But Ford claimed in a letter to her congresswoman this summer that a drunken, teenage Kavanaugh had once pinned her to a bed at a high school party and groped her through a swimsuit while he tried to undress her.
Kavanaugh has flatly denied the event ever happened, and a friend who Ford claimed was present has backed him up.
Ford spoke to no one of it until 2012 when she and her husband discussed it in therapy.
Trump took pains to not mention her by name on Thursday, and limited himself to defending Kavanaugh’s character.
‘I’m not saying anything about anybody else, but I want to tell you that Brett Kavanaugh is one of the finest human beings you will ever have the privilege of knowing or meeting,’ the president said to cheers.
‘A great intellect, a great gentleman, an impeccable reputation. Went to Yale, top student. Went to Yale Law School, top student.’
‘So we gotta let it play out,’ he concluded. ‘But I want to tell you, he is a fine, fine person … and he’s got tremendous support.’
Trump was in Nevada to rally a crowd in support of Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who is running for a third term.
On Wednesday during a donor conference call, Heller dismissed the nomination controversy.
‘We got a little hiccup here with the Kavanaugh nomination,’ he said. ‘We’ll get through this and we’ll get off to the races.’
Washington is divided over whether or not Ford’s memory can be trusted.
Her attorneys offered late Thursday to make her available to testify in a hearing next week, but with strings attached.
They told Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, that Ford would only agree to be questioned by senators – not committee lawyers.
They also demanded that she must testify after Kavanaugh, something that would run counter to the standards of both Capitol Hill hearings and criminal courtroom procedure.
Ed Whelan, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and a Kavanaugh Defender, suggested Thursday on Twitter that a teen from Kavanaugh’s high school who looks like him may have been Ford’s assailant.
Hours earlier police arrested protesters outside Grassley’s Senate office.
The demonstrators shouted that they believed Ford and tied her case to that of Anita Hill, a law professor whose sexual harassment accusations against Justice Clarence Thomas nearly derailed his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation.