tv Judge Brett Kavanaugh Professor Christine Blasey Ford Testify CSPAN September 28, 2018 7:59am-8:28am EDT
helped create an immigrant movement in the united states of america. and in the democratic caucus. and in many areas and spaces economic and business spaces. but most importantly in this political space that is a congress of the united states. join us for our conversations with bill schuster saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern. on c-span and listen on the free space -- c-span radio app. yesterday the senate judiciary commitment. they heard testimony from christine blasey-ford. here is part of the hearing. including opening statements. as well as the committee chair chuck grassley.
invited. the dr. ford and judge kavanaugh have been through a terrible couple weeks. they and their families have received file threats. what they have endured ought to be considered by all of us as unacceptable and a poor reflection on the state of civility in our democracy. so i want to apologize to you both for the way you have been treated, and i intend, hopefully, for today's hearing to be safe, comfortable and dignified to both of our witnesses. i hope my colleagues will join me in this effort of the show of civility. with that said i lament that this hearing, how this hearing has come about. on july 9, 2018, the president
announced judge kavanaugh's nomination to serve on the supreme court. judge kavanaugh has served on the most important federal. appellate court for 12 years. before that he held some of the most sensitive positions in the federal government. the president added judge kavanaugh to his shortlist of supreme court more than nine months ago in november 2017. as part of judge kavanaugh's nomination to the supreme court, the fbi conducted his sixth full field background investigation of judge kavanaugh since 1993, 25 years ago. nowhere in any of these six fbi reports which committee investigators have reviewed on a
bipartisan basis was there whiff of any issue, any issue at all, related in any way too inappropriate sexual behavior. dr. ford first race forav allegations in a secret letter to the ranking member nearly two months ago in july. this letter was secret from jul, july 30 until september 13th when i first heard about it. the ranking member took no action. the letter wasn't shared with me or colleagues or my staff. these allegations could've been' investigated in a way that maintain the confidentiality that dr. ford requested. before his hearing judge kavanaugh met privately with 65
senators, including the ranking member. but the ranking member didn't ask judge kavanaugh about the allegations when she met with him privately in august. the senate judiciary committee held its four-day public hearing, september 4-september 7. judge kavanaugh testified for more than 32 hours in public. we held a closed session for members to ask sensitive questions on the a last evening, which the ranking member did not attend. judge kavanaugh answered nearly 1300 written questions submitted by senators after the hearing. more than all prior supreme court nominees. throughout this time we did not know aboutll the ranking members secret evidence. then only at an 11th hour on the eve of judge kavanaugh's confirmation vote did the ranking member refer the allegations to the fbi.
and then, sadly, the allegations were leaked to the press, and that's where dr. ford was mistreated. this is a shameful way to treat our witness who insisted on confidentiality and, of course, judge kavanaugh who has had to address these allegations in the midst of a media circus. when i received dr. ford's letter on september 13, my staff and i recognize the seriousness of these allegations and immediately begin our committees investigation consistent with the way the committee has handled such allegations in thee past. every step of the way the democratic side refused to participate in what should've been a bipartisan investigation work and as far as i i know onl of our judgeships throughout at
least the last four years, or three years that's been the way it's been handled. after dr. ford's identity became public, my staff contacted all thend individuals she said attended the 1982 parties described in the "washington post" article. judge kavanaugh immediately submitted to interview under penalty of felony for any knowingly false statements. he denied the allegations categorically here democratic staff was invited to participate and could've asked any questions they wantedll to, but they declined, which leads me then to wonder, if they are really concerned with going to the truth, why wouldn't you want to talk to the accused? the process and procedure is what the committee always does when we receive allegations of wrongdoing. my staff reached out to other individuals allegedly at the party, mark judge, patrick smyth, leland keyser, all three
submitted the senate under penalty of felony denying any knowledge of the events described by dr. ford. dr. ford's lifelong friend, ms. keyser, stated she doesn't know judge kavanaugh and as a recall ever attending a party with him. my staff made repeated requests to interview dr. ford during the past 11 days. volunteering to fly to california to take her testimony. but her attorneys refuse to present her allegations to congress. i never, i nevertheless, honored a request for a public hearing, so dr. ford today has the opportunity to present herc allegations under oath. as you can see, the judiciary committee was able to conduct thorough investigations into allegations.
or thorough investigations into allegations. some of my colleagues consistent with their stated desires to obstruct kavanaugh the nomination by any means necessary pushed for an fbi investigation into the allegations. but i have no authority to force the executive branch agency to conduct an investigation into a map it considers to be closed. moreover, once the allegations became public, it was easy to identify all the alleged witnesses and conduct our own investigations. contrary to what the public has been led tohe believe, the fbi doesn't perform any credibility assessments or verifyon the truh of any events in these background investigations. i'll quote then chairman joe biden during justice thomas' confirmation hearing. this is what senator biden said, quote, the next person who
refers to an fbi report as being worth anything obviously doesn't understand anything. the fbi explicitly does not in other case reach a conclusion.tl they say he said, she said, they said, period. so when people waive an fbi report before you, understand they do not. they do not. they do not reach conclusions. they do not make recommendation recommendations, end of senator bidens quote. the fbi provided us with the allegations. now it's up to the senate to assess their credibility, which brings us tot' this very time. i look forward to a fair and respectful hearing. that's what we promised dr. ford. some of my colleagues have
complained about the fact that an expert on the side is investigating sex crimes will be questioning the witness. i see no basis for complaint other than just playing politics. the testimony realtor today concerns allegations of sexual assault, very serious allegations. this is ann incredibly complex and sensitive subject to discuss, and it's not an easy want to discuss it. that is why the senators on this side of the dice believe an expert who has deep experience and training in interviewing victims of sexual assault and investigating sexual assault lee allegations should be asking questions. this will be in stark contrast to the grandstanding and chaos that we saw from the other side during the previous four days in this hearing process. i can think of no one better
equipped to question the witnesses than rachel mitchell. ms. mitchell is a career prosecutor, civil servant with decades of experience investigating and prosecuting sex crimes. she has dedicated her career to seeking justice for survivors of sex-related felonies. most recently rachel was a division chief of the special victims division maricopa county attorneysth office which prosece sex crimes and family violence. then democratic senator, governor janet napolitano previously recognized her as the outstanding arizona sexual assault prosecutor of the year, and she is spent years instructing prosecutors, detectives and child protection workers on how to properly interview victims of sexual assault and abuse. with her aid i look forward to a fair and productive hearing.
i understand that there are two of the public allegations. today's hearing was scheduled to, in close consultation with dr. ford's attorneys, and her testimony will be the subject of this hearing. we've been trying to investigate other allegations. at this time we have not had cooperation from attorneys representing other clients. and they have made no attempt to substantiate their claims. my staff has try to secure testimony and evidence from attorneys for both deborah ramirez and julie swetnick. my staff made eight request. yes, eight requests for evidence from attorneys for ms. ramirez, and sixth request for evidence for attorneys for ms. swetnick. neither attorney has made their clients available for interview.
the committee can't do an investigation if attorneys are stonewalling. i hope you allab understand that we have attempted to seek additional information as we do a lot of times when there are holes in what we call the fbi reports. additionally, all the witnesses -- bia reports. -- when i sit on the witnesses i mean dr. ford, and i mean judge kavanaugh, all the witnesses should know that they have the right under standard rule 26.5 to ask that the committee to wil into a closed session if a question requires an answer that is a clear invasion of the right to privacy. if either dr. ford or judge kavanaugh feel that senate will want to 6.5 odd to be involved, they should simply say so. senator feinstein. >> thank you very much, mr. i
chairman. i'll make just a brief comment on your references to me. yes, i did receive a letter from dr. ford. it was conveyed to me by a member of congress, and as you. the next i called -- anna eshoo. we spoke on the phone. she reiterated that she wanted this held confidential, and i held it confidential. up to a point where the witness was willing to come forward. and ihe think as i make my remarks, perhaps you will see why. because how women are treated in the united states with this kind of concern is really wanting a lot i of reform, and i'll get tt for a minute. but in the meantime, good morning, dr. ford. thank you for coming forward and being willing to share your story with us. i know this wasn't easy for you.
but before you get to your testimony, and the chairman chose not to do this, i think it's important to make sure you are properly introduced. >> by the way, i was going to introducer, but if you want to introducer of a glad to have you do that. but i want you know i didn't forget to do because i would do that just as she was about to speak. >> thank you. i have to say when i saw your cv, i. was extremely impressed. you have a bachelors degree from university of north carolina, chapel hill, two masters degrees, one from stanford and one from pepperdine, and a phd from the university of southern california, better known to senator harris andnd i as usc. you are a professor at philly with both stanford university and palo alto university. you have published over 65 peer-reviewed articles and have received numerous awards for your worksh and research. and that's if that were not
enough, you are a white, a mother of two sons, and a constituent from california. so i am very grateful to you for your strength and your bravery in coming forward. i know it's hard. but before i turn it over, i want to say something about what is to be discussed today and where we are as a country. to violence is a serious problem, and one that largely goes unseen. in the united states it's estimated by the centers for disease control, one in three women, and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. according to the rape, abuse and incest national network, 60% of sexual assault go unreported. in addition, when survivors to report their assaults, it's
often years later, , due to the trauma they suffered and fearing their stories will not be believed. last week i received a letter from a 60-year-old california constituent who told me that she survived and attempted rape at age 17.a she described as being terrified and embarrassed. she never told a soul until much later in life. the assault stayed with her for 43 years. i think it's important to remember these realities as we hear from dr. ford about her experience. there's been a great deal of public discussion about the #me too movement today versus the year of the woman almost 27 years ago. but while young women are standing up and say no more, our institutions have not progressed in how they treat women who come forward.
too often women's memories and credibility, under assault in essence, they are put on trial and forced to defend themselves and often re-victimized in the process. 27 years ago i was walking through an airport when i saw a large group of people gathered around a tv to listen to anita hill tell her story. what i saw was an attractive woman in a blue suit before an all-male judiciary committee speaking of her experience of sexual harassment. she wasud treated badly, accused of lying, attacked, and her credibility put to the test throughout the process. today, dr. christine blasey ford has come forward to tell her story of being assaulted and fearing for her life when she
was a teenager. initially, as i said, dr. ford did not want to make her story public. then within 36 hours of coming forward, republicans scheduled a hearing without talking to her or even inviting her to testify. she was told she had to show up or the committee would move forward with a a boat. it took aho public outcry from e majority, excuse me, for the majority to back down and give or even a few days to come before the committee. republicans also scheduled this hearing with dr. ford without her i can have her allegations investigated by the fbi. in 1991 anita hill's allegations were reviewed by the fbi, as is the normal process and squarely within its jurisdiction.
however, despite repeated requests, president trump and the republicans have refused to take this routine step and direct the fbi to conduct an impartial investigation. this would clearly be the best way to ensure a fair process to both judge kavanaugh and to dr. ford. in 1991 the senate heard from 22 witnesses over three days. today, while rejecting an fbi investigation, republicans are refusing to hear testimony from any other witness, including mark judge who dr. ford identified as being in the room when the attack took place. and we believe judge should be subpoenaed soo the committee can hear from him directly. republicans have also refused to
call anyone who could speak to the evidence that would support or refute dr. ford's claim, and not one witness who could address credibility and character of either ford or capital has been called. what i find most inexcusable is of this rush to judgment, the unwillingness to take these kinds of allegations at face value, and look at them for what they are, i real question of character for someone who is asking for a lifetime appointment on the supreme court. in 1991 republicans belittled professor hill's experience saying, and i quote, it won't make a difference in the outcome, end quote. and the burden of proof was on professor hill.
today, our republican colleagues are saying this is a pickup. dr. ford is mixed up and declaring i listen to the lady, but we're going to bring this to a close. what'sdr worse, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have also made it clear that no matter what happens today, the senate will plow right through and ensure judge kavanaugh would be elevated within a week. w in fact, on tuesday the majority went ahead and scheduled a vote on the nomination before we heard one word of testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by brett kavanaugh.ar republican leadership even told senators, they should plan to be in over this weekend so the nomination can be pushed through without delay. this is despite the fact that in the last few days to more women
have come forward with their own serious allegations of sexual assault involving brett h kavanaugh. this past sunday we learned about deborah ramirez, who was a student at yale with brett kavanaugh. she, too, did not want to come forward, but after being approached by reporters, she told her story. she was at a college party brett kavanaugh exposed himself to bher. she recalls pushing him away and then seeing him laughing and pulling his pants up. then yesterday, julie swetnick import to say that she had experiences of being at house parties with brett kavanaugh and mark judge. she recounted seeing kavanaugh engage, and i quote, in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, end quote. quote. including attempts to, quote,
remove or shift girls clothing, end quote. not taking, quote, no for an answer, grabbing girls, quote, without their consent, , end quote, and targeting, quote, particular girls so that they could be taken advantage of, end quote. each of thels stories are troubling on their own, and each of thesese allegations should be investigated by the fbi. all three women had said they would like the fbi to investigate, please do so. all three have said they have other witnesses and evidence to corroborate their accounts. and yet republicans continue to blindly push forward. so today we are moving forward with a hearing and being asked to assess the credibility of brett kavanaugh. he's made several statements
about how his focus was on school, basketball, service projects and going to church. he declared that he, quote, never drank so much you can remember what happened and he has, quote, always treated women with dignity and respect, end quote. and while he is make these declarations, more and more people have come forward challenging his characterization of events and behaviors. james roche, his freshman roommate at yale stated kavanaugh was, and the court again, frequently incoherently drunk, end quote. and that was when, quote, he became aggressive and belligerent, end quote, when he was drunk. liz swisher, a friend of his from yale said, adequate, there medical way i can say that he was blacked out, but it's not
credible for him to say that he has no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess, in court. lynn brooks, a college classmate, set the picture kavanaugh is trying to paint doesn't match her memories of him. and iic quote, he's trying to paint himself as some kind of choirboy. you can't lie to way onto the supreme court. and with thatr statement out,, he's gone tooay far. it's about the integrity of the institution, end quote. ultimately, members and ladies and gentlemen, i really thinknk that's the point. we're here to decide whether to evaluatetl this nominee to the most is to just court in our country. it's about the integrity of that institution, and the integrity of thisun institution. the entire country is watching
how we handle these allegations. i hope the majority changes their tactics, opens their mind, and seriously reflects on why we're here. we are here for one reason, to determine whether judge kavanaugh should be elevated to one of the most powerful positions in our country. this is not a trial of dr. ford. it's a job interview for judge kavanaugh. is brett kavanaugh who we want on the most i prestigious courtn our country? is he the best we can do quite thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, chairman grassley and ranking member feinstein, members of the committee. my name is christine blasey ford. i am a professor of psychology at palo alto university and a research psychologist at the stanford university school of medicine.