tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 26, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
i'm brooke baldwin. you are watching special coverage of the intensifying crises facing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. the confirmation of kavanaugh is now in serious, serious question. kavanaugh is vying for a position he will hold for the rest of his life. justices decide of law of the land for every single american, man and woman. less than 24 hours before kavanaugh is set to testify on allegations he sexually assaulted a teen-ager in high school, a third woman is now coming forward making explosive, graphic allegations against him. among them, she is accusing brett kavanaugh and others of being present at parties where young women were getting gang raped, as she describes in a side room or bedroom by a train, her word, a train of numerous
boys. the allegations are graphic, they are horrific and we'll get into them in just a second. these new allegations come from a woman named julie swetnick in a sworn affidavit. she is a government worker, went to another local high school at the same time that brett kavanaugh did. her attorney is michael avenatti. he represents stormy daniels in a case against the president. president trump is engaged in tweeting insults with avenatti, calling him a total low life and avenatti saying that trump is, quote, an habitual liar. and kavanaugh saying he doesn't know who julie swetnick is and that his claims are from, quote unquote, the twilight zone. >> he doesn't know this woman.
he didn't go to parties with her. i've received calls from women and men who went to parties with him. no one knows her and no one remembers seeing her at the parties. they're absolutely allegations. if they're true, there's no excuse for his lawyer not going straight to the police. there's no one stopping any investigation and any lawyer worth their salt would put their client's interests first and go straight to the police or to the fbi. >> what all of this means is the hearing scheduled for tomorrow still happening as of now will be without two of kavanaugh's three accusers and without an fbi investigation. let's start with sara sidner. just again, they are disturbing to listen to. tell us what julie swetnick is alleging. >> here is what she is alleging, some allegations, not all of them. she said she observed brett kavanaugh drink excessively
between 1981 and 1983, they were both in high school, at different high schools. she observed him drinking at many of the parties, about ten of them that she was aware of that she had been to that happened on the weekend. said that he engaged in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls, including and i'm quoting from her actual declaration to the judiciary committee, including pressing girls against him without their consent, grinding against girls and attempting to remove or shift girls' clothing to expose private body parts. now, that is one of the allegations she herself says that she witnessed brett kavanaugh doing during these parties. she also talks about the fact that she was aware somehow of him and his friend mark judge being involved in spiking drinks. she doesn't say how she was aware of it. she says she was aware of it but making it so girls were ine inebriated and unable to give
consent. this is where things get really disturbing. she also, she says, witnessed efforts by mark judge and brett kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so that they could be gang raped. those are her words, in a side room or bedroom by a train of numerous boys. she says she has a firm recollection of seeing boys line up outside of rooms at many of these parties waiting for their turn with a girl inside the room. those boys, she says, included mark judge and brett kavanaugh. what we don't know from this statement here is whether or not she knew exactly what was going on in that room. she says they were in line. we don't know exactly why they were in line, if they were intending to do something, if they knew what was going on in that room. but she makes the allegation that they were standing in a line where she says boys were going in and having sex with a
woman, as a train, one after another going in. michael arvenatti made it clear she has asked for an investigation. she says she will sit in front of the judiciary committee. she has something to lose, you see some of the places she's worked. here's what michael avenatti had to say about his client. >> she is 100% credible. and when the american people hear from her, they will determine, as i have, that she is to be believed. >> now, she says in her declaration, brooke, that she presently holds the following active cleanses with the public trust, u.s. department of treasury and the u.s. minut and
those are her allegations about what brett kavanaugh knew. she wants an investigation and she wants it immediately. brooke? >> thank you for that. let's have a bigger conversation on so much of what sara laid out for us. i have with me gloria borger and jennifer rogers, a former federal prosecutor and, ladies, thanks for being with me. we've all read her sworn affidavit. just to underscore the serious nature of these allegations, we know submitting a statement to congress that is knowingly false can be criminally prosecuted. so if she is lying, she could be prosecuted. yes? >> yes, absolutely. it's basically the same as being under oath at this point for her. so -- >> ergo, these are extremely serious allegations. >> not only that, she is a government employee. it would have taken about five
minutes for chuck grassley or her colleagues to start calling around and find out about this woman. she's got a lot to lose. she's going to be an open book for them. she has a lot to lose if she's not telling the truth. >> here is how president trump described the allegations in the last hour. >> i think it's ridiculous. it's a con game they're playing. the democrats are playing this game that's a disgrace to the country and i think you're going to see it in the mid terms. it's just a con game. he's a high-quality person, they're bringing people out of the woods. they can do that to anybody, other than perhaps the prime minister because he's so pure, but they can do it to anybody what they are doing and it's really, really sad. >> gloria, is that helpful? >> well, i don't think it's helpful to the republicans at
all because he doesn't mention what the accusations are, he doesn't mention -- he doesn't mention anything about -- >> even her, her name. >> or her or her name. obviously, look, he doesn't like michael avenatti, as we know, because avenatti of course was doing the stormy daniels case, et cetera, et cetera. i would be naive to say there's not a political component to the argument going on on capitol hill between the democrats and republicans here. i don't think we can overstate at all the impact that holding judgem judge merrick garland's nomination up and then killing it has had on the democrats, but i would also say that the president's dismissiveness is not helping republicans and chuck grassley has gone out of his way, i would say, to be
respectful to all of these women who has raised questions. the only problem is tomorrow we're only going to hear from one of them and there happen to be two others. >> right. to underscore how serious lithe allegations are, julie swetnick swearing in her affidavit where she was at a party where a woman was gang raped and she was saying later on she was gang raped, not by kavanaugh. swetnick says that she saw kavanaugh, quoting her, pressing girls against him without their consent, grinding against girls in attempting to remove or shift girls' clothing to expose private body parts. this is the same brett kavanaugh we watched on fox saying this. >> i was focused on trying to be number one on my class and
captain of the varsity basketball team, doing my service projects, going to church. the vast majority of the timism spe -- time i spent in high school was studying, focused on sports, being a good friend to the boys and the girls that i was friends with. >> you're shaking your head. which is it? >> when you're evaluating this, one of the things you look at is their demeanor and how they come across and also corroboration. and there's been plenty of corroboration that he was a heavy drinker and when he drank, he wasn't a great guy. he even said such in speeches just a few years ago. so this whole choir boy routine he pulled on monday, i don't think it does him any favors. >> if you read this morning, a whole piece came out saying
choir boys and more choir boys are coming out and telling their story as well. he vehemently denies these allegations and he did speak generally about some drinking in high school and college on the interview the other night. he's prepared to say but i was not perfect in those days just as i'm not perfect today. i drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. sometimes i had to many. sometimes in retrospect i said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. do you think his lawyers got to him and said you need to change your little bit? what do you think? >> i do. the fox news interview, the choir boy interview didn't go over real well. there are reports it didn't go over well with president trump, in fact.
i think he has to admit to a certain degree being a so-called bad boy when he was in high school, maybe he drank a little too much and some stuff he did made him cringe, et cetera, et cetera, which is certainly within the realm of kind of acceptable, you know, high school behavior, i guess. but nothing about, you know, nothing about the charges, the charges against him, which are obviously going to be litigated tomorrow or he's going to be asked about them in great detail. so i do think there's been a shift in that kind of strategy, but they're also going to make the point that this is not about his high school behavior, this is about character assassination. and that's what they're going to call it. >> lastly, as we all will be glued tomorrow to this hearing, we know that the republicans on the senate judiciary committee, they have hired this veteran sex crimes prosecutor by the name of
rachel mitchell and she'll be doing the questioning on behalf of the republicans and then the democrats and they'll be taking turns back and forth. this is not a court of law, right? so correct me, but it's my understanding they won't be able to bring in in the questioning, any of what we've been discussing in this latest allegation, right? it's keep it on ford. >> that's right. we're hearing from dr. ford tomorrow and judge kavanaugh. those are the witnesses we're hearing. it's incredibly limited. it's in some way commendable they want to have somebody with expertise in sex crimes to advise them on this -- >> and a woman. >> and a woman. if that was it, if they brought this woman in simply to give them advice, this is how you prosecute a sex crime and what you should know about sexual assault. that would be one thing. to have her being there on the front lines as the ones actually asking the questions takes it to a different stage. it seems like it's hiding behind her, having her doing the dirty
work because they don't like the optics of white men asking the questions of the victim. >> thank you so much. we'll be watching tomorrow. in the meantime we're still hearing from key senators talking about judge kavanaugh's fate. also, republicans insist the hear will go go on tomorrow as plan. my next guest calls their move. she calls it sexist and cowardly to bring in this female prosecutor from arizona. that's next. (vo) this is not a video game. this is not a screensaver.
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accuser, christine blasey ford. senate republicans will be using a veteran sex crimes prosecutor, rachel mitchell, to ask the questions for them. no doubt it is so that the 11 white men on the republican side avoid these optics, the image from 1991. remember this? showing anita hill before the senate judiciary committee as she testified that then supreme court justice nominee clarence thomas sexually harassed her. well, my next guest has this message for the chairman of the committee, chuck grassley, who is in charge of kavanaugh as you hearing tomorrow. she says in her "new york times" opinion piece that grassley needs to, quote, man up and question the accuser christine blasey ford himself. she is laura bazzelon, a professor at the university of san francisco school of law.
also alan stewart, republican strategy, is with me. ladies, before you get to how did you phrase it, cynicism, sexism and cowardice, alice, i wanted to ask you just with the news we've been covering today, these latest incredibly serious allegations, do you think the senate judiciary committee needs to pump the brakes on this hearing tomorrow? >> no, i think they need to move full speed ahead. if the latest accuser wants to tell her story, she should come forward and tell her story. they all deserve to be heard. >> but they haven't invited her. >> i think chairman grassley is wise to be fair to these women and give them the opportunity to speak but also to be firm in withholding the calendar they have for in terms of the confirmation of judge kavanaugh. i think it's important to
maintain a good balance between those two issues, but we need to stand firm and move forward with his confirmation process. >> i know you're in touch with a lot of republicans in high places. have they officially invited swetnick to testify? >> they want to hear her story. i think it's important that we do hear her story. whether or not she can do it in the timeline that they have remains to be seen, but they've been very clear, all of them, with regard to all these women that have come forward is let them be heard, let them hear their stories you but we also need to move forward with the process at hand. >> laura, on your opinion piece out of the "times "times," you hiring the woman to represent them is cynical and sexist, why? >> if he was truly be sensitive to her, he would have done what
she asked, which is have her questioned before the full panel. they seem to have outsourced this because of what you said earli earlier, the optics are terrible. we have 11 republican men, all white and they just don't want do this so they're shoveling it off to someone else. >> could you not see it as they are all men, they're not experts in prosecuting sex crimes, cross-examination, questioning sex crimes, the fact that she is a woman, she will understand in a different way than they will? >> i find that offensive frankly, the idea that it takes a woman to know a woman and only a woman could question another woman. these members of the committee have had no problem going out and attacking her character calling her mixed up, calling
her "this lady" and saying, as lindsey graham did, "i've made up my mind." the question is can you do your job in a respectful, probing manner. why is that so hard to ask? >> it's almost like they aren't up for it. it's like dial a woman who could question dr. ford. staying with you, though, laura, if they hadn't hired this female outside counsel, would you or other critics have complained, you know, if all of these 11 men did question her, 11 white men asking the questions? >> i would complain if in asking the questions they bullied her, lacerated her, intimidated her and went after her in a way that republicans and democrats, quite frankly, did in the anita hill hearings. then i would be critical. what i would expect is for them to do their job and treat her with respect while asking the questions they need to ask.
>> i think laura's piece is very certainly intelligent but two of the key points that she highlighted here, cynical and sexist, those are the two main arguments that democrats said from the very beginning of this process as to why they did not want all men gop members of the committee to ask her questions. they wanted to bring in someone that had more sympathies toward dr. ford. that's exactly what they did. so in doing what many democrats wanted from the very beginning, bringing in someone who was more sympathetic, now it's being used against us. i think rachel has a tremendous career in handling sex crime cases. she has worked to protect victims throughout much of her career and her sympathies tend to lie more towards the victim, especially those who have been silenced for many, many years. so in my view, she's going to be much more sympathetic and compassionate to dr. ford than anyone else. and it doesn't matter that she is a woman.
she is an experienced sex crimes prosecutor and she will be able to get to the heart of the matter and get to the true story from dr. ford and also judge kavanaugh. so she is the right person for the job. i don't look at it as her being a woman. i look at it as her being the best person to ask these questions during this critical time. >> two key perspectives going into this hearing tomorrow morning up on the hill. alice and laura, thank you for that. we're talking about rachel mitchell, who will be conducting the questions on behalf of republicans. while talk to someone who worked with her for years back in maricopa county, arizona. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish,
more on our breaking news. a third woman now making these explosive allegations against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh that includes abusive behavior towards women in high school. the allegations are incredibly graphic and extraordinarily serious. they are allegations that brett kavanaugh is denying. but tomorrow's hearing involving the first woman accusing him, christine blasey ford, is a go. the woman hired to ask questions is a woman by the name of rachel mitchell. she's been a prosecutor for 26 years, most recently served as a deputy county attorney in
maricopa county, arizona. she's prosecuted cases involving the backlog of rape kits, sex abuse cases involving khcatholi priests, among other sex crimes. my guess, jason lamm, is a defense attorney. thank you for being on with us. >> good to be with you today, brooke. >> millions of eyeballs will be on miss mitchell tomorrow for this monumental hearing involving the supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. from what you know about her, is she up to the task tomorrow? >> first and foremost, i've known rachel about 20 years strictly in a professional capacity. i also was a district attorney at the mayorricopa county and a prosecuted sex crimes.
that having been said, rachel mitchell is a fine attorney. she is a career prosecutor and is absolutely dedicated to the prosecution of sex crimes. unfortunately, given the environment she's brought into for this hearing, in a lot of ways she in a no-win situation. >> why do you say that? >> well, you have to look at this. we only heard just last night that rachel mitchell would be assigned this task and given this task and already she's getting criticism from the right, she's getting criticism from the left. so one of two things happen, either she ask blasey ford some very, very tough questions, and on the other hand if she softballs dr. ford and the republicans on the committee feel rachel mitchell is not being aggressive enough, people are going to say she wasn't
thorough. so either way she's certainly up for the task. she's imminently qualified, a highly ethical attorney but there's just no good answer here. >> i'd be remiss not to ask you, you haven't been to touch with her since the news broke she'd be heading to washington, correct? >> no, i think she's probably wi wisely undercover, getting ready for the challenge. >>. >> so to your point about how she will be questioning both dr. ford and judge cavanaugl ka you have been on the other side, high profile cases, what is her mnch onc m.o. when it comes to questioning? >> rachel mitchell's m.o. is very simple, to get to the truth. i heard your last guest asking about the gender of the questioner. i don't think that's the issue. what's at issue is understanding
the dynamics of delayed reporting. i think that's going to be a big issue. i think she's going to want to look at this in a black-and-white situation and if it's a delayed reporting, peel the layer of onion and see why and get to the truth. at the same time, she has a more difficult task with brett kavanaugh. as a career prosecute, she's used to aggressively cross-examining. she's not a yeller or a screamer but she's very methodical. i think she runs the risk of being too aggressive on judge kavanaugh but if she's not aggressive enough, others will say she's just pooching this. a really, really difficult task ahead but probably one of the most qualified people in the country for the job. >> great. i think you hit on the truth. i think that's what every single american wants is the truth. >> jason lamm, thank you.
>> thank you to you, brooke. >> this latest allegation against brett kavanaugh, they've been calling on the white house to withdraw the nomination. and we'll hear what some of those who went to yale and what they're saying about his life on campus. oh! oh! ♪ ozempic®! ♪ (vo) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than seven and maintained it.
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but this just in, apparently president trump went off, that's how it described, on his french counterpart macron. the course said he was venting and going off about trading to macron. the source said there was some rapport between the two but it's not what it once was. so michelle, to you. what happened? >> some of the magic is gone here. but this has come to be expected among u.s. allies, that trump gets into these one-on-one meetings where they can be more themselves, not putting on a display, a show. but trump starts to hammer him on trade. he did with this angela merkel. we know that trump and macron have this rapport, where ma
crone stands up to him at times but gives him the firm and shake. even then behind closed doors trump starts this talking point, this rift on how in his mind the u.s., as he puts it, is worse than china on trade. it's something he's said before. but it makes for this uncomfortable meeting -- >> does it have anything to do with the iran nuclear deal? >> they have this history of macron feeling he can be a hero and have a good relationship with trump and maybe save the iran nuclear deal at one point. that didn't happen. also, he's trying to get points back home. some things work, some things backfire on him. this is a meeting wb thhere then talk about things still on the table but trump just hammers him on trade. >> and china, the president said
this on china and how they are meddling in our elections. >> regrettably we found that china has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election. they do not want me or us to win because i am the first president ever to challenge china on trade. can you fact check all of that for me. >> well, look, this is not the first time a top administration official has said china, iran even are interfering with elections. it's an effort, isn't it to, dilute the importance of what russia did in the election -- >> which he never mentions. >> he never mentions. so there may be some things that they feel they're looking at technology and what china and russia and iran are trying to do, certainly not as much as what russia is going to do and this is an effort to kind of divert away from what even the top intelligence officials are saying is a blinking red light,
that russia is still trying to interfere. you heard over the last couple of weeks, national security adviser john bolton, secretary of state pompeo in a recent interview last week told me he's also looking at china and iran as well. it's all an effort to divert away from what russia is doing at this very minute with mid terms coming up just a few weeks away. >> bright, shiny object. doesn don't look this way. >> exactly. >> from that back to the story here. his college behavior, quite the story from his college classmat classmates. we go next live to yale university for a look at kavanaugh's years on campus.
as the senate judiciary committee gets ready to hear from brett kavanaugh and one of his accusers tomorrow, kavanaugh's college behavior has become quite the topic among his classmates at yale. some had high praise for the nominee, and others pushed back on the notion of kavanaugh's choir boy image implied in his recent interview. liz swisher, who described herself as a college friend of his, told the "washington post," quote, brett was a sloppy drunk, and i know because i drank with him. i watched him drink more than a lot of people. he would end up slurring his words, stumbling. cnn's miguel marquez went to new haven, connecticut, and has more on kavanaugh's years in campus. >> reporter: at yale university, a partially remembered alleged incident. 35 years old. >> will be the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth. >> now front and center in the high-powered fight over a crucial pick for the highest court in the land. >> yes or no? >> well, is there a person you're talking about? >> i'm asking you a very direct question. yes or no. >> reporter: the claim, at an alcohol-fueled party in 1983 or '84, brett kavanaugh exposed himself in a very aggressive way to debby ramirez, when both were freshmen and both were drunk. >> i never did any such thing. never did any such thing. the other people alleged to be there don't recall any such thing. if such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus. >> reporter: the claim has added a layer of worry, angst and protests for many on the political left over a nominee and his nominating process. >> brett kavanaugh is the best candidate on the horizon. >> reporter: yale law professor, a self described liberal
democrat, testified on kavanaugh's behalf and wrote an editorial in the "new york times," supporting his appointment based on the legal strength of judge kavanaugh's written decisions. >> as a constitutional scholar, read what judge kavanaugh as a judge has written, and i thought that this overall work product placed him at the very top of all sitting federal republican judges. >> reporter: he now has second thoughts. >> i have second thoughts, because a second issue has arisen, and it's an issue about which, frankly, i don't have the facts. i don't think any american yet has the facts. >> reporter: amar wants to hear what judge kavanaugh's accusers have to say and judge for himself if he thinks the claims are credible and should bar kavanaugh from sitting on the supreme court. in a statement, james roche, kavanaugh's freshman roommate, remembers him as a normally reserved, but a notably heavy drinker. roche, a close friend of debby
ramirez, says he has no knowledge of the incident she describes, but that kavanaugh could become aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. >> when he was at yale as an undergrad, he joined a fraternity. >> reporter: haley reported deeply on judge kavanaugh's time at yale. >> this is a fraternity that heavily, heavily drew from the athlete scene at yale. so brett kavanaugh is this guy who liked to play basketball, wrote for the daily news, was a big fan of the crowd. >> reporter: one picture appearing in the "yale daily news" during the years of dke members, but not kavanaugh, raising a flag made from female student undergarments, it indicates the sort of fraternal high jinks some say misogynistic activities carried out by members of dke during judge kavanaugh's time in the fraternity. >> it was sort of a lot of hi jinx and a did h de bauch re.
>> reporter: many described dke as a hard-partying fraternity. most had positive memories of kavanaugh, but not all. one woman called him an aggressive, obnoxious drunk, saying his fraternity was misogynistic. one classmate who was in the same secret society, truth and courage as kavanaugh, say they drank but never saw him in a state where he wasn't in control. a female classmate who knew kavanaugh well found the allegations shocking, saying she remembers kavanaugh as an he n dreamily intelligent and extremely nice and sensitive man. >> i'm just asking for a fair process, where i can be heard and defend my integrity and defend my family's integrity. >> reporter: now, the big question, brooke, is will debby ramirez be allowed to testify before the senate committee? it is not very clear, and
probably not likely. her lawyers have sent a letter to the committee, saying she's willing to cooperate. their response back from the republican leadership on that committee has been, we want more evidence. something she says she doesn't have. but she wants to talk to them. is hoping they'll at least hear her out. all of this against the backdrop that a tentative vote on judge kavanaugh in the committee has been set for friday morning. so after tomorrow's testimony of dr. ford, that may be it. they may move to a vote on friday. brooke? >> miguel marquez, thank you. at yale for us. coming up, we will soon hear from president trump holding a rare, solo news conference. the night before this blockbuster senate hearing that could determine the fate of his supreme court nominee. special coverage straight ahead here on cnn. we're back in just a moment. r a. get up to 30% off top brands at sears. ♪ plus get an extra 15% off kenmore laundry. visit sears.com/kenmore to see how you can get more from kenmore at sears.
a third woman now making these explosive allegations against supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh, including, quote, abusive behavior toward young women in high school, and beyond. the claims now have democrats calling on the white house to pull his supreme court nomination. meantime, on the republican side of things, the chairman of the senate judiciary committee, senator chuck grassley, says tomorrow's hearing will go on as planned. republican senator jeff flake, a key vote on that committee, questioned if lawmakers will ever get to the truth. >> we seem to sometimes forget that before this woman or this man or anything else, they are human beings. we sometimes seem intent on
stripping people of their humanity so we might more easily denigrate or defame them or put them through the grinder that our politics requires. >> and, again, you see it on the screen. the hearing tomorrow morning starts at 10:00 a.m. eastern. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. there's now a third accuser. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. new, horrific accusations about brett kavanaugh's alleged behavior with girls in high school. kavanaugh denies it all. he says the charges are from the twilight zone. michael aftvenatti, who represes the woman in question, will be here in minutes. these new serious allegations come just hours before kavanaugh and his first accuser, christine blassy for the are set to testify in front of the world. could they even sink his confirmation?