Skip to main content

tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  September 27, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

2:00 pm
it's this story that not even "the new york times" would report, the allegation of ms. ramirez, and then stormy daniels' lawyer comes up with this incredible story accusing you of the most sordid and salacious conduct. it's outrageous. and you're right to be angry. but this is your chance to tell your story, and i hope you have a chance to tell us everything you want to tell us, but the burden is not on you to disprove the allegations made, the burden under our system when you accuse somebody of criminal conduct is on the person making the accusation. now, i understand we're not -- this isn't a trial, like i said, but i just wanted to make sure that we understood it's hard to reconstruct what happened 36 years ago and i appreciate what you said about dr. ford. that perhaps she has had an
2:01 pm
incident at some point in her life and you are sympathetic to that and -- but your reputation is on the line, and i hope people understand the gravity of the charges made against you and what a fair process looks like. >> senator klobuchar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. judge, we're talking here about decency, and you understand we have this constitutional duty to advise and consent. and for me when this evidence came forward, i decided that i needed to look at this and i needed to find out about it and i needed to ask you questions about it, as well as others that were involved. so, again, i'm not going to take quite the same approach as my colleagues here and talk about don mcgahn or any of this. why don't you just ask the president, mrs. -- dr. ford
2:02 pm
can't to this. we clearly haven't been able to do this, but just ask the president to re-open the fbi investigation. >> i think the committee is -- you're doing the investigation. i'm here to answer your questions and i should say one thing, senator klobuchar, which is i appreciate our meeting together and i appreciate how you handled the prior hearing and i have a lot of respect for you. >> well, thank you. all of that aside, here's the thing, you could actually just get this open so that we can talk to these witnesses and the fbi can do it instead of us. you've come before us but we have people like mark judge who dr. ford says was a witness to this. we have this polygraph expert that my colleagues are raising issues about the polygraph. we would like to have that person come before us. and i just think if we could open this up -- >> i don't mean to -- i don't mean to interrupt -- i guess i
2:03 pm
am. mark judge has provided sworn statements saying this didn't happen and that i never did or would do -- >> but we would like the fbi to be able to follow up and ask him questions. you know -- we talked about past nomination processes and you talked about those and i note that president george bush in the anita hill/justice thomas case, he opened up the fbi investigation and let questions being asked. and i think it was helpful for people. so was his decision reasonable? >> i don't know the circumstances of that. what i know, senator, is i'm -- >> but he just -- the circumstances are that he opened up the investigation so the fbi could ask some questions. that's what he -- he opened up the background check. >> i'm here to answer questions about my yearbook or about, you know, what i -- >> okay. that's -- >> or sports or, you know, summer basketball. >> okay. i'm not going to ask about the yearbook. so most people have done some
2:04 pm
drinking in high school and college and many people even struggle with alcoholism and binge drinking. my own dad struggled with alcoholism most of his life and he got in trouble for it and there were consequences. he is still in aa at age 90 and he's sober. in his words, he was pursued by grace, and that's how he got through this. so in your case, you have said here and other places that you never drank so much that you didn't remember what happened, but yet we have heard, not under oath, but we have heard your college roommate say that you did drink frequently. these are in news reports. that you would sometimes be belligerent. another classmate said it's not credible for you to say you didn't have memory lapses. so drinking is one thing. >> i actually don't think that's the -- the second quote's correct. on the first quote, if you want to -- i provided some material
2:05 pm
that's still redacted about the situation with the freshman year roommate and i don't really want to repeat that in a public hearing, but just so you know, there were three people in a room. dave white, jamie roach and me and it was a contentious situation where jamie did not like dave white at all. i mean, this -- so dave white came back from home one weekend and jamie roche had moved all of his furniture out into the courtyard. >> okay. >> so he walks in. so that's your source on that. so there is some old -- >> drinking is one thing -- >> there is much more. look at the redacted portion of what i said. i don't want to repeat that in a public hearing. >> i will. can i just ask one more question? okay, drinking is one thing but the concern is about truthfulness, and in your written testimony you said sometimes you had too many drinks. was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn't
2:06 pm
remember what happened or part of what happened the night before? >> no. i remember what happened. and i think you've probably had beers, senator, and so -- >> so you're saying there has never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before or part of what happened? >> you're asking about blackout. i don't know. have you? >> could you answer the question, judge? just so -- you -- that's not happened, is that your answer? >> yeah, and i'm curious if you have. >> i have no drinking problem, judge. >> nor do i. >> okay. thank you. >> before i go to senator hatch, since this fbi thing keeps coming up all the time, let's get back to basics. first of all, anybody, including any senator that's brought up this issue, could ask for an fbi investigation. what the fbi does is gather information for the white house,
2:07 pm
then the file is sent to the committee for us to make our own evaluations. we're capable of making our own determination about the accuracy of any of those allegations. the fbi has put out a statement over now i suppose it's a month ago clearly stating this matter is closed, as far as the letter being sent to them, and there is no federal crime to investigate. if senator -- if senate democrats hope for the fbi to draw any conclusions on this matter, i'm going to remind you what joe biden said. now, i said this in my statement but maybe people aren't listening when i say it and maybe they won't even hear this. joe biden, quote, the next person who refers to an fbi report as being worth anything obviously doesn't understand anything. the fbi explicitly does not -- does not in this or any other case reach a conclusion.
2:08 pm
period. they say he said/she said/they said. period. so when people wave an fbi report before you or even bring it up now as something prospectively, that wasn't in his quote, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions. they do not make recommendations. senator hatch? >> mr. chairman -- >> do you need a break? >> in chairman mr. chairman -- >> let me say for the record we have asked. you said nobody has asked the fbi. i actually have. i think others have and i think that the issue is part of what an fbi report does is to investigate and seek either corroborating or exculpatory evidence. it's not so much the conclusion that it draws as the breadth of the evidence that is sought out through the investigation and the difference between what somebody might say to an fbi
2:09 pm
agent when they're being examined, and for instance mr. judge's letter signed by his lawyer sent in. it's just a different thing. and i believe still that this is the first background investigation in the history of background investigations that hasn't been re-opened when new credible derogatory information was raised about the subject, about the nominee. so, you know, i just -- i didn't want to let the point you made stand without referencing what we had tried to do. >> pardon me, but i'll just add to the point you made. the letter was sent to the fbi. the fbi sent it to the white house with a letter saying the case is closed. we're taking a break now for senator -- we're taking a break now. >> well, you heard the man. the chairman says we're taking a break now. it looks like it will be a brief break. and when we come back, it comes time for senator orrin hatch.
2:10 pm
obviously the subject of an fbi investigation or more specifically the lack of it is where we're concentrated right now. at our table here in new york we have three former feds and two of us who masquerade as journalists. daniel goldman is here, joyce vance is here -- jonathan ma leer from the associated press. cynthia, to you first. how many of these punches are landing? how much damage is this? >> well, as we've been talking, particularly with joyce, there is not escape from his refusal to allow an fbi investigation and you have to wonder why. and the only answer i can come up with is he's afraid of what that fbi investigation would reveal. because even though judge has already given a statement, you know, there is the i gave a statement to the republican lawyer for my buddy and we filed it and there is two fbi agents
2:11 pm
knock, knock, knock on the door having a serious confrontational interview. i think he's afraid of what judge is going to say. i don't see how he overcomes that in terms of his credibility, number one. number two, my other thought is, can you imagine if a woman came to this hearing and had a temper tantrum and streamed and interrupted senators and behaved in the manner in which he has? she'd be taken out of the room in a straight jacket. and instead because he's a buy it's acceptable behavior and the president undoubtedly will be proud of him because he's fighting back. but it does show the difference in the way we judge how people present themselves. >> joyce vance? >> there is a lot of conversation before this hearing about the fact that there hadn't been an fbi investigation. judge kavanaugh should have walked in today with a clear answer, and instead every time senators ask him whether he would ask the white house for an fbi investigation, he complained
2:12 pm
about delays in reporting the incident. he talked about the fact there is a committee process. he did everything but directly answer the question, and the only conclusion that i was able to reach at the end of hearing that happen over and over is this is someone who is fundamentally afraid of having a full investigation. he is perhaps afraid, as cynthia says, of having his high school friend mark judge questioned and cross-examined. he was okay with the submission of a written sworn statement. cross-examination seemed to be a bridge too far for him. his credibility i think suffers horribly because of those omissions. according to dr. ford's testimony this morning, he is far less credible. >> daniel goldman, give your life's work and experience, it can be a clarifying moment when a mark judge has two people in a crown victoria pull in a driveway as opposed to something you write in a statement or a letter. >> absolutely. i think it's important to take a
2:13 pm
step back and talk about what this fbi investigation would be. it is, as sheldon whitehouse aptly put it there, it's not to reach any conclusion, it is to do the legwork to try to interview the witnesses who may then identify other witnesses who have information of value, who may then be able to pinpoint the house, who may then be able to go into the house and corroborate the description of the house and on and on. now, that could take some time, but as we know from the anita hill investigation, it could also be very quick. and the problem i think that we're seeing here is that the senate republicans, donald trump and now brett kavanaugh, who appears in some respects to almost be an arm of the senate judiciary committee during this hearing, interrupting the senators, making their -- the arguments that the judiciary committee members are making, which is very unusual to see. none of them want a full proper,
2:14 pm
independent investigation. so then the question is why? there is someone in the room. it does not take, as you say, a former fed to understand that if someone else is alleged to be in the room, it's worth talking to that person under oath. and the last thing i will say is, a statement to -- from a lawyer to a committee is very, very different than when you're either sitting under oath and testifying under penalty of perjury or you're sitting with fbi agents where you will be prosecuted if you make false statements. and it's just not the same. and to try to paint this veil that it is the same thing to submit a letter is farcical. and ultimately in order to really understand what is going on with this allegation and with brett kavanaugh in high school, whether he is bart o'kavanaugh or not in the book, you need mark judge. it's the elephant in the room and it's shocking we're not any further towards hearing from him. >> jonathan lemire, the marine
2:15 pm
guard usually in front of the west wing entrance is not there, meaning the president -- usually means the president's out of the oval and he's in the residence. let's just assume he has watched every second of this. we've seen anger and tears and high volume. what's your reporting on how this is being received? >> so a couple of different levels. the president, remember, started the day here in new york coming back to the united nations general assembly. this hearing actually started while he was in marine one heading to kennedy airport and air force one back to washington. sarah sanders told the press that the president was, indeed, watching on a little bit of a delay because he had been in transit. our reporting suggests there have been two very distinct reactions. when dr. ford was up earlier, there was a real sense that air force one is described to us, the cabins are very quiet. everyone on board was listening. the president, chief among them, largely holed up with a few members of staff. a few members we talked to were
2:16 pm
dismayed. they found dr. ford very credible and thought it would be a problem for their nominee. in fact, in the break in between the two sessions before judge kavanaugh came on, there was real alarm among republicans that this was going south, that the day may have already been lost. that has now changed. from what we talked to people around the president, he's very pleased with this degree of fight he's seen from kavanaugh here in the last hour or two. in stark contrast to what he thought of the fox news interview earlier this week, which we reported and others they thought kavanaugh was sort of weak and didn't show enough fire or passion. he has corrected that today. come out almost yelling. he's trying to defend his integrity to the wider public. he's playing to those undecided senators and very much playing to 1600 pennsylvania avenue. everybody we've talked to both inside and outside the white house says it's playing well. trump is encouraged by the fight and wants him to keep doing this. >> i don't mean this as the
2:17 pm
pejorative it's going to sound like, a designed play, a dramatic moment turned tout to be an actual dramatic moment. it was laid out by dick durbin, democrat of illinois in his questioning of judge kavanaugh about an fbi investigation. we'll take a look at this clip. we'll come out. we'll talk about it with john heilemann. >> the committee figures out how to ask the questions. i'll do whatever. i've been on the phone multiple times with committee counsel. i'll talk to -- >> judge kavanaugh, will you support an fbi investigation right now? >> i will do whatever the committee wants to -- >> personally, do you think that's the best thing for us to doer if -- do? you won't answer? >> as i said, john heilemann has been watching along with us. john, what did you make of that moment? let's back up a bit. what do you make of this day? >> well, brian, i thought the moment was a strong one for dick durbin who is not normally a
2:18 pm
master of political theater, but delivered that line, as you said, clearly rehearsed and setup moment. did it well. i do not think brett kavanaugh's response to it was nearly as strong, for some of the reasons that relate to some of the legal issues that some of your fine legal analysts up there have been suggesting. he could easily embrace two things if he were fully confident of his innocence. one of them would be to ask for an fbi investigation of every serious charge levelled against him, not just by dr. ford but for others. he could ask for his longtime friend mark judge to come forward and testify under oath and be cross-examined. he's not done either one of those things. every time he's given an opportunity to do that, which would not just be a thing that would speak to his confidence, but it would also be a politically strong move, he demurs in one way or another and defers back to the republican-controlled committee. look, brian, the reality of this day is we walked into the hearing with a couple of key -- this is a numbers game, right?
2:19 pm
most of the republicans are going to vote for him no matter what. most of the democrats, all democrats are going to vote against him, no matter what. there are a handful of republican senators, the notable ones obviously susan collins and lisa murkowski, but some others. probably up to maybe ten at the most who are going to look at this hearing and make a decision about what they thought at the end of it. given the strength of dr. ford's testimony and given the different brett kavanaugh that we saw in the second half of the hearing that we've seen so far, it does not look to me like he is designed his testimony and his demeanor to try to play to those people and their concerns. he may be making donald trump happy. he may be making the republican base happy. what he is not doing is reassuring senator collins, reassuring senator murkowski, reassuring jeff flake and bob corker and some others who are -- the ones who hold the fate of this nomination in his hands. it looks much more to me like he has decided to defend his honor and try to portray himself as a
2:20 pm
martyr in some basic knowledge that he is probably now unlikely to get confirmed because the way this day has gone has made it very hard for those republican senators in the middle to be for him. >> john heilemann, thank you for that. garrett haake out in the hallway with reaction from senator graham. garrett? >> reporter: yeah, brian, a few hours ago i think i told you when lindsey graham was out here talking to reporters, the angriest i've ever seen him. i have to revise that statement after watching his testimony. really dropping the gauntlet to his republican colleagues, saying if you allow this to go forward you will be complicit. as he walked out of the hearing room i saddled up next to him and he said essentially he's tired of this charade. graham has been kavanaugh's most vocal defender since these allegations dropped and that has continued so forcefully in the hearing room today. i have to say, just from the body language of his republican
2:21 pm
colleagues as they left the hearing room, some of it seems to work. the republicans on this committee were leaving this room every time there was a break ashen faced and silent during dr. ford's testimony. they are coming out with a renewed, i think, enthusiasm for their no, ma'minee in this seco half, as they have seen him fighting back so forcefully. and you note the last two senators didn't go back to the prosecutor. they buttressed judge kavanaugh themselves rather than let ms. mitchell continue her work, which i think is notable, too. >> garrett haake in the hallway. garrett referenced what we witnessed from senator graham before the break. we have some of that for you on video. >> if you wanted an fbi investigation, you could have come to us. what you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. you've said that. not me. you've got nothing to apologize for.
2:22 pm
when you see sotomayor and kagan, tell them that lindsey said hello because i voted for them. i would never do to them what you've done to this guy. this is the most unethical sham since i've been in politics. and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you've done to this guy. are you a gang rapist? >> no. >> i cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through. boy, i want power. god, i hope you never get it. i hope the american people can see through this sham, that you knew about it and you held it. you had no intention of protecting dr. ford. none! she is as much of a victim as you are. god, i hate to say it because these have been my friends, but let me tell you, when it comes to this, you're looking for a fair process?
2:23 pm
you came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. >> a genuine outburst on the part of lindsey graham, republican of south carolina. cynthia, you can hear folks on the left say two things. justice gorsuch received no such fight or challenge when he was coming up and merrick garland sat on the bench. >> right. justice gorsuch went to the same high school. there were no allegations like that and the democrats were angry because of merrick garland, and yet he's on the supreme court. this is a different situation and i must say, it looked to me in my cynical, cynical little prosecutor mind, that lindsey graham wants to be the new attorney general. and that was just his little audition. and my guess is the white house is very happy and that that's what we see before the first of the year and after the midterms. >> it has been theorized that lindsey graham, jonathan lemire, would end up in a trump cabinet because it's a seat almost
2:24 pm
guaranteed to be filled by a republican, net/net, no loss or gain. >> his transformation has really been remarkable in the last few months as someone who was sort of a bitter foe of candidate trump during the campaign. memorably, donald trump gave out lindsey graham's cell phone number during a rally. graham had to change his number obviously after that. they really didn't get along. but graham has cozied up to the president. he's been a faithful partner in legislation and also a faithful golf partner. it is strike striking to watch this display today. you can't help but think about john mccain, who was lindsey graham's -- one of his very best friends. certainly someone who remained a steadfast opponent of donald trump and probably one who would reject some of the theatrics we're seeing today. >> we're watching some of the lions at work, hatch and leahy, the two most senior members of the u.s. senate, i believe. am i getting that wrong?
2:25 pm
yeah. hatch and leahy are right up there, going back their service dating back to the 1970s when they arrived. joyce vance, on the topic of an fbi investigation, i guess nothing is clinical and nothing can be said beyond party slant in this environment. is it disqualifying to anyone but the dems? >> i think that that's the question that we'll have to grapple with here. you know, we hear this d denegration of the fbi process. that's not entirely true. it creates a little bit more background information on a candidate. don't know that that would be helpful here. but those 302s, as y'all have discussed, right, the two agents who drive up in a crown vic to mark judge's door and interview him and other school friends and
2:26 pm
give senators the information they need to move forward, that process, i think, might be appealing to some of the republican senators, because if we take a step back, the problem that we have here is once there is a vote in the senate, brett kavanaugh, for better or worse, if he's on the winning end of that vote is now a supreme court justice for the remainder of his life. and if he goes and takes that role with any outstanding questions left unanswered, it could be a debacle. nobody wants that on either side of the aisle. we may have some republicans yet that will call for an investigative process. >> nothing wrong with 302s. 302s are findings of facts and you can glean a lot by reading the transcript of an interview with a mark judge. >> absolutely. we all have been harping on this all day, but i think even if you were to say, let's just focus on mark judge and the allegations around him, i think that would go a long way toward resolving some of the outstanding questions we have here. the real question that i think is going to be foremost to
2:27 pm
senators murkowski and collins in particular is when lindsey graham says that professor ford is almost as much of a victim as you are, judge kavanaugh -- >> mmm-hmm. >> painting judge kavanaugh as the real victim here and not professor ford, who is so emotionally and persuasively testified to the trauma that she received this morning. and then you see on the other hand someone like brett kavanaugh, who is exhibiting much more anger and vitreal and defiance than we saw in his previous hearings. as a prosecutor, i see some of his reactions and i think to myself, huh, this is kind of consistent with someone who might be a mean drunk, which is one of the quotes that someone who went to school with him used. so what are senators collins and murkowski going to think when there is some degree of shifting the blame from the -- from the
2:28 pm
accused to the victim? and how does that all shake out? as you see the really different and poignant powerful testimony from both people but on very, very different sides. it's a very interesting question we're left with. >> judge kavanaugh is back. i think grassley is again waiting for senator feinstein to come back and take her place as lead democrat. cynthia, until we reach that moment. >> you know, just for the viewers, you notice there is a big difference -- i think this would be interesting in the mark judge. there is a big difference from the paper statement, whatever the 302 turns out to be and the real life testimony. we see that highlighted today in her own testimony. we all read it. very different when we saw it. >> yeah. >> that's what i think the democrats are looking for, they want to have a context for this mark judge guy. they want to know what he really says when he's under pressure to the fbi and then what is his
2:29 pm
demeanor, what's he really like? there is only one way to do that, that's to begin the investigation and get him in front of the committee. >> senator feinstein has been seated next to senator grassley. i think we're back under way. >> i am ready. can i say one thing? >> yes. >> i was just going to say, i started my last colloquy saying to senator klobuchar how much i respected her and she asked me at the end that i responded by asking her a question. this is a tough process. i'm sorry about that. >> i appreciate that. i would like to add when you have a parent that is an alcoholic, you're pretty careful about drinking, and the second thing is i was just truly trying to get to the bottom of the facts and the evidence and i again believe we do that by opening up the fbi investigation, and i would call it a background check instead of investigation. thank you. >> appreciate that. >> senator hatch. >> well, thank you, judge. welcome. we're happy to have you here.
2:30 pm
my friend from -- i'd just like to say a few words. my friend from arizona emphasized yesterday that we have before us today two human beings, dr. ford and judge kavanaugh. they deserve -- each of you deserved to be treated fairly and respectfully. we tried to do that with dr. ford earlier and i think we succeeded. it's important that we treat judge kavanaugh fairly now. it remains to be seen how that's going to work out. judge kavanaugh has been a federal judge for 12 years. he's been a great federal judge on the second highest court in the nation. he's earned a reputation for fairness and decency. his clerks love him. his students, he teaches in law school as well, his students love him. his colleagues love him. this man is not a monster, nor is he what has been represented here in these hearings. we're talking today about judge
2:31 pm
kavanaugh's conduct in high school. and even then. and as a freshman in college i guess as well. serious allegations have been raised. if judge kavanaugh committed sexual assault, he should not serve on the supreme court. i think we'd all agree with that, but the circus atmosphere that has been created since my democratic colleagues first leaked dr. ford's allegations to the media two weeks ago, after sitting on them for six weeks, i might add, has brought us the worst in our politics. it certainly has brought us no closer to the truth. anonymous letters with no name and no return address are now being treated as national news. porn star lawyers with facially implausible claims are driving the news cycle. i hate to say this, but this is worse than robert borekk and i didn't think it could get any worse than that. this is worse than clarence
2:32 pm
thomas. i didn't think it could get any worse than that. this is a national disgrace, the way you're being treated. in the middle of it all, we have judge kavanaugh, a man who until two weeks ago was a pillar of the legal community. there has been no whisper of misconduct by him in the time he's been a judge. what we have are uncorroborated, unsubstantiated claims from his teenage years, claims that every alleged eyewitness has either denied or failed to corroborate. i do not mean to minimize the seriousness of the claims. yeah, they've been serious claims, but the search for truth has to involve more than bare assertions. like dr. ford, judge kavanaugh deserves fair treatment. he was an immature high schooler. so were we all. that he wrote or said stupid things sometimes does not make him a sexual predator. i understand the desire of my
2:33 pm
colleagues to tear down this man at any cost. i do understand it. but let's at least be fair and look at the facts or the absence thereof. guilt by association is wrong. immaturity does not equal criminality. that judge kavanaugh drank in high school or college does not make him guilty of every terrible thing that he's recently been accused of. a lifetime of respect and equal treatment ought to mean something when assessing allegations that are flatly inconsistent with the course of a person's entire adult life. with those comments, judge, i'd just like to ask you a few questions, if i can, about how -- if you can be short in your answers, it would help me get through a bunch of them. about how this process has unfolded. when did you first learn of dr. ford's allegations against you? >> it was a week ago sunday when "the washington post" story. >> isn't that amazing? did the ranking member raise these allegations in your
2:34 pm
one-on-one meeting with her last month? >> she did not. >> did the ranking member raise them at your public hearing earlier this month? >> no. >> did the ranking member raise them at the closed session that followed the public hearing? >> she was not there. >> did the ranking member or any of her colleagues raise them in the 1,300 written questions that were submitted to you following the hearing? >> no. >> when was the first time that the ranking member or her staff asked you about these allegations? >> today. >> when did you first hear of ms. ramirez's allegations against you? >> in the last -- in the period since then, in "the new yorker" story. >> did the ranking member or any of her colleagues or any of their staffs ask you about ms. ramirez's allegations before they were leaked to the press? >> no. >> when was the first time that the ranking member or any of her colleagues or any of their staff
2:35 pm
asked you about ms. ramirez's allegations? >> today. >> i think it's a disgrace -- >> senator coons? >> thank you, mr. chairman. judge kavanaugh, today's hearing is about dr. ford's serious allegations about sexual assault. you have unequivocally denied those claims. but we're here today to assess her credibility and yours. and in our previous vigorous exchanges in the previous confirmation hearing rounds, i found that your answers at times vigorously defended but at times struck me as evasive or not credible on key issues, and it's against that backdrop that i'm seeking to assess your credibility today. you said in your opening that rule of law means taking allegations seriously. and i agree with that. it brings me no joy to question you on these topics today but i do think they are serious and they are worthy of our attention. so let me, if i can, return to a line of questioning my colleague was on before.
2:36 pm
which was about whether you've ever gotten aggressive while drinking or forgotten an evening after drinking. >> those are two different questions. i've already answered the second one. as for the first, i think the answer to that is basically no. i don't know really what you mean by that. like what are you talking about? >> well -- >> i guess -- i don't mean it that way, but no is the basic answer, unless you're talking about something where -- that i'm not aware of that you're going to ask about. >> the reason i'm asking, we've had a very brief period of time to weigh outside evidence, and i'll join my colleagues in saying i wish we had more evidence in front of us today to weigh. do you remember liz swisher, a college classmate of yours from yale? >> first, on your point about the outside evidence, you know, all four witnesses -- >> well, let me focus -- i'm
2:37 pm
trying to get this question. >> i know, but you made a point and i just want to re-emphasize. all four witnesses who were allegedly at the event said it didn't happen, including dr. ford's longtime friend, ms. keyser. >> if mark judge were in front of us to question, we'd be able to handle this -- she is now a medical doctor and i'm quoting from a recent interview she gave. she said brett kavanaugh drank more than a lot of people. he'd end up slurring his words. stumbling. it's not credible for him to say he's had no memory lapses in the nights he drank to excess. i know because i drank with him. how should we assess that? >> she then goes on, if you kept reading, and says she actually can't point to any specific instance like that. >> the quote that jumped out at me was brett was a sloppy drunk and i know because i drank with him.
2:38 pm
there is also -- >> i don't think that -- i do not think that's a fair characterization and chris dudley's quoted in that article, and i would refer you to what chris dudley said. i spent more time with chris dudley in college than just about anyone. i would refer you to what he said. >> in other reporting, as i'm sure you know, a college classmate described you as relatively shy but said when you drank you could be aggressive or even belligerent. your roommate, as i think you discussed with senator klobuchar said you were frequently drunk. >> that roommate, that was freshman year roommate. >> yes. >> there was contention between him and the third person. there were three of us in a small room. you should look at what i said in the redacted portion of the transcript about him and you should assess his credibility with that in mind. >> put yourself in our shoes for a moment, if you would, judge, and i know that's asking a lot of you in this setting, but suppose you had gone through a
2:39 pm
process to select someone for an incredibly important job and a position you had a lot of qualified candidates and as you're finishing the hiring process, you learn of a credible allegations that if true would be disqualifying. wouldn't you either take a step back and conduct a thorough investigation or move to a different candidate? and why not agree to a one-week pause to allow the fbi to investigate all these allegations and allow you an opportunity a week from now to have the folks present in front of us for us to assess their credibility and for us to either clear your name or resolve these allegations by moving to a different nominee? >> all four witnesses who are alleged to be at the event said it didn't happen, including dr. ford's longtime friend, ms. keyser, who said that she didn't know me and that she does not recall ever being at a party with me, with or without dr. ford. >> what i've struggled with, judge kavanaugh, is the absence of a fair federal law enforcement-driven nonpartisan
2:40 pm
process to question the various people who i think are critical to this. my concern, should you move forward, is what it will do to the credibility of the court and how that may well hang over your service. i understand -- >> look, senator, my reputation -- >> i wish you would join us in calling for an fbi investigation for one week. >> when you -- >> to clear or confirm some of these allegations. >> i will give you time to answer. >> when you say a week delay. do you know how long the last ten days have been for us? >> they were probably an eternity. in the judge thomas -- it was a four-day delay. >> every day has been a lifetime. and, you know, yeah, and it's been investigated. all four witnesses say it didn't happen. they've said it under penalty of felony and i've produced my calenders, which show, you know, a lot -- those are very -- that's important evidence. and you act like, i mean, the
2:41 pm
last ten days -- i asked for a hearing the day after the allegation. >> before i call on senator lee, i want to emphasize something here, that talking about doing something without enough time. we had 45 days between july 30th and september the 13th, i believe it is, when we could have been investigating this. and in regard to this candidate, if you take the average of 65 to 70 days between the time that a person is announced by the president and the senate votes on it is about 65 to 70 days, and here we are at about 85 to 90 days. so there is plenty of time put in on this nomination. senator lee? oh, no, wait a minute. i got one other thing i want to do. everybody else has been putting letters in the record. i have a letter here from 65
2:42 pm
women who knew judge kavanaugh between the years '79 and '83, the years he attended georgetown prep high school. these women wrote to the committee because they know judge kavanaugh and they know that the allegations raised by dr. ford are completely totally inconsistent with his character. these 65 women know him through social events and church. many have remained close friends with him. here is what they say, partly quoting the letter. quote, through the more than 35 years we've known him, brett has stood out for his friendship, character and integrity. he has always treated women with decency and respect. that was true in high school and it remains true to this day. in closing they wrote, judge kavanaugh, quote, has always been a good person. without objection, i put it in the record. senator lee? >> judge kavanaugh, you've been cooperative at every step of this investigation, both your background investigation and the
2:43 pm
investigation conducted by this committee, is that correct? >> that is correct, senator. >> it's also true that you yourself do not control the fbi or when it conducts an investigation. you were a nominee. you are not tasked with the job of deciding who, when, whether or how conducts an investigation? >> that is correct. >> but at every moment when either we or prior to the committee taking jurisdiction over it, the fbi has asked you questions, you've been attentive and you've been responsive, isn't that right? >> that is correct. throughout my career. >> i have colleagues today who have repeatedly asked for an fbi investigation and there are some ironies in this. ironies that ascent at least two levels. in the first place, at least one of my colleagues, at least one of them had access to this information many, many weeks before anyone else did, had the ability, and i believe moral duty and obligation to report those facts to the fbi, at which point they could have and would have been investigated by the fbi. that could have been handled in
2:44 pm
such a way that didn't turn this into a circus, one that has turned your life upside down and that of your family and the life of dr. ford and her family upside down. i consider this most unfortunate, given that this was entirely within the control of at least one of my democratic colleagues to do this. the second level of irony here is that while calling repeatedly for an investigation by the fbi, an investigation over which you have no ability to control, by the way, an investigation you have no authority to call for, while calling for an investigation, we're in the middle of a conversation that involves questions to you. so i ask my democratic colleagues if you have questions for judge kavanaugh, ask him. he's right here. if that's really what you want is the truth, ask him questions right now. if you have questions of other witnesses, then for the love of all that is sacred and holy, participate in the committee investigations that have been going on as you have not been participating. with the committee staff investigating the outside witnesses, if someone really
2:45 pm
were interested in the truth, this is what they would do, they would participate in the investigation. when we have a committee investigation, a committee hearing with live witnesses, they would talk about that rather than something else they wish they were having in front of them. if what they want is a search for the truth, then now is their choice. if on the other hand what they want to do is delay this until after the election, which at least one of my colleagues on the democratic side has acknowledged, then that might be what they would do. finally, i want to point out that there is significant precedent from our former chairman of this committee, chairman joe biden. during the clarence thomas hearings nearly three decades ago, chairman biden made some interesting observations about fbi reports and their role in this process. here's what he 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
2:46 pm
this or any other case reach a conclusion. period. period. those are his dual periods. not mine. i continue the quote. the reason why we cannot rely on the fbi report, you would not like it if we did because it is inconclusive. so when people wave an fbi report before you, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions. they do not make, as my friend points out more accurately, they do not make recommendations. in other words, the role of the fbi is to flag issues. those issues have been flagged. sadly in this case they were flagged, not as they should have been, not in the timing in which they should have been and therefore they couldn't have addressed in the manner that would preserve a lot more dignity for you and your family and dr. ford and her family. they were instead held out until the final moment. i consider that most unfortunate. and for that on behalf of this committee, i extend to you my
2:47 pm
most profound sympathies and my most profound sympathies to dr. ford and her family as well. >> senator -- >> mr. chairman, since we don't have enough slots for everyone, can i have the last minute of senator lee so senator kennedy can be recognized? judge, we did 38 hours in public with you. did we have any private hearings with you? >> yes. >> was that a fun time for you, when people -- when senators could ask questions that are awkward or uncomfortable about potential alcoholism, potential gambling addiction, credit card debt, if your buddies floated you money to buy baseball tickets, did you enjoy that time we spent in here late one night? >> i'm always happy to cooperate with the committee. >> that's charitable. were you ever asked about any sexual allegations when we had that time in here with you alone? >> no. >> did the ranking member already have these allegations for, i guess this would have been september 6 or 7, and the letter was written on july 30th.
2:48 pm
a recommendation was made by the ranking member or her staff to dr. ford, and, by the way, i think dr. ford is a victim, and i think she's been through hell and i'm very sympathetic to her, but did the ranking member's staff make a recommendation here today to hire a lawyer and she knew all that, yet we had a hearing here with you and none of these things were asked, but once the process was closed, once the fbi investigation was closed, once we were done meeting in public and in private, then this was sprung on you. i just want to make sure i have the dates correct, right? we've got 35-plus days from all the time that this evidence was in the hands, recommendations were made to an outside lawyer, you could have handled all of this, we would have had this conversation in a way in private that didn't only do crap to his family but didn't -- i yield my time. [ inaudible ] >> i was trying to see if he
2:49 pm
could do math about 35 days. that was a little bit of a question. >> thank you. >> thanks, mr. chairman. good afternoon, judge kavanaugh. as a federal judge you are aware of the jury instruction, falseness in unibus, falseness in omnibus, are you not? you're aware of that jury instruction? >> yeah, i am. >> you know what it means? >> you can translate it for me, senator. >> false in one thing, false in everything. in jury instructions, some of us as prosecutors heard many time has told a jury that they can disbelieve a witness if they find them to be false in one thing. so the core of why we're here today really is credibility. let me talk -- >> the core of why we're here is an allegation for which the four
2:50 pm
witnesses present have all said it didn't happen. >> let me ask you about rinade dolphin, who lives in connecticut. she thought that these yearbook statements were, quote, horrible, hurtful and simply untrue, end quote. because renata, alumni, clearly implied some boasts of sexual confesses. and that's the reason that you apologized to her, correct? >> that's false, speaking as about the year many book and she said -- she and i never had any sexual interactions. your question is false and i address that in the opening statement and so your question is based on a false premise and really does great harm to her, i don't know why you're bringing this up, frankly, doing great harm to her by bringing her name up here is really unfortunate. >> well, calling someone an alumnus in that way --
2:51 pm
>> well, implying -- >> by a number of your football friends at the time as boasting of sexual confess. that's the reason that i'm bringing it up. >> no, it's false -- you're implying that. look what you're bringing up right now about her. >> i ask that -- don't interrupt from my time. >> well. >> she is a great person. she's always been a great person. we never had any sexual interaction, by bringing this up you're just dragging her through the mud. it's just unnecessary. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you made reference, judge, to a sworn statement, i believe, by mark judge to the committee, is that correct? >> i made reference to what mark judge's lawyer sent to the committee. >> yeah, it's not a sworn statement, is it? >> under penalty of felony. >> well, it's a statement signed
2:52 pm
by his lawyer, barbara van go gelder. it is six sentences. are you saying that's a substitute for an investigation by the fbi? or some interview by the fbi under oath. >> under penalty of felony he said that this kind of event didn't happen and that i never did or would have done something like that -- >> as a federal judge you always want the best evidence, don't you? >> senator, he has said and all the witnesses present -- look at miss kaiser's statement. she's -- she's -- >> let me move on to another topic. you've testified to this committee this morning, this afternoon, quote, this whole two-week effort has been a calculated and okay stricted political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about president trump and the 2016
2:53 pm
election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left wing opposition groups. is it your testimony that the motivation of the courageous woman who sat where you did just a short time ago was revenge on behalf of a left wing conspiracy or the clintons? >> senator, i said in my opening statement that she preferred confidentiality and her confidentiality was destroyed by the actions of this committee. >> meet le ask you this, in a speech that you gave at yale, you described, quote, falling out of the bus onto the front steps of the yale law school at
2:54 pm
4:45 a.m. >> i wasn't describing me. i organized -- senator, senator, let me finish here, please. i organized a third year end of school party for 30 of my classmates to rent a bus to go to fenway park in boston which was about a three-hour trip. i bought all the tickets. you and i discussed that before. i bought all the baseball tickets. i rented the bus, i organized the whole trip. we went to fenway park, roger clemens was pitching for the red sox. we had a great time. george brett was playing third base for the royals. actually he was playing left field that night and he and we went to the game and got back and then we went out, was a great night of friendship -- >> i apologize for interrupting but i need to finish the quote before i ask you the question. >> i wasn't talking about -- >> okay. >> the quote ends, that you tried to, quote, piece things back together end quote to recall what happened that night.
2:55 pm
meaning -- >> i know what happened. >> well, you -- >> judge, let -- will you quickly answer your question then i'm going to let him answer -- >> i know what happened that night. >> i'll finish asking my question. >> please, go ahead. but do it quickly. >> does that imply to "you" had to piece things back together. had you to ask others what happened that night? >> no. >> okay, you take your time and answer the question, then senator -- >> definitely not. i know exactly what happened that night. it was a great night of fun. i was so happy it was great camaraderie, everybody looks fondly back on the trip to fenway park and went out together, a group of classmates an i know exactly what happened the whole night and i'm happy -- >> judge, do you believe anita hill? >> senator crepele -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. judge kavanaugh, first, i want to get into this whole question that's been bandied back and forth here almost endlessly today about the fbi
2:56 pm
investigation process. because i think -- i want to follow up a little on what senator lee and sassen e have represented. there's a lot of talk about we need an fbi investigation. in these processes which you've been through a number of times now when the fbi does a background check with regard to a nomination, could you quickly describe that for us? what does the fbi do? >> the fbi gathers statements from people who have information. they don't resolve credibility, they gather the information and the credibility determination is made by the ultimate fact-finder, which in this case is the united states senate, the committee, of course, hears gathered evidence. >> and the fbi then gives that report to the white house, if i understand it and the white house then transfers it to the senate, is that -- >> that's my understanding, yes. >> and as you indicated, it does not do -- it's been said many
2:57 pm
times here today, the fbi does not make judgments. it gives the senate committee information. at that point in time, if i understand the process correctly, the senate -- the united states senate judiciary committee has legal authorities, if it receives information in an fbi report that it wants to further investigate, the senate has legal authority to conduct further investigations, is that correct? >> that's my understanding. >> and that is what has been referenced here many times about how some of these witnesses that were identified in the very late information that we received have made statements that are under penalty of felony. that's a felony for lying to the senate judiciary committee. and as i understand it, what happens is the senate judiciary committee which has authority under law to conduct those kinds of investigations follows up on the fbi reports to finish out the investigation that it wants with regard to any information
2:58 pm
it receives that needs further investigation. that is your understanding of the process. >> that's my understanding. >> in this case there's been a lot of talk and if i have time i'll get into it. but in this case, there's a lot of concern by many that there was not so much an interest in an fbi investigation as there was in delay. i'm not going to get to that unless i have time. i want to talk about what happened in the senate committee's investigation. because as i understand it and this may be more of a question to the chairman, as soon as we received information, which was about 45 days after others on the committee received it, we conducted an investigation. is that correct, mr. chairman? i'm sorry to turn the questioning to you. we began that legal senate judiciary committee investigation? >> yes. >> and that investigation involved our fully lawfully enabled investigators to conduct an investigation and if i understand it correctly, the
2:59 pm
democratic members of the committee refused to participate in that investigation. >> yes. >> and so we have conducted the investigation, the very kinds of things that my colleagues on the other side are asking that we tell the fbi to do, this committee has the authority to do it and this committee does it and this committee has done it. now, there may be more demand for more interviews and more investigation but when you, judge kavanaugh, have referenced the testimony that has come from those who were supposed -- who were identified as being at this event, the testimony that has been received from them is information that has been received pursuant to a senate committee investigation. and i just think it should be made clear, i think there's been a lot of back and forth here about, oh, we're not getting information. we're not looking at this. you don't want to look into the investigation. you don't want to see what happened. the reality is this committee immediately and thoroughly
3:00 pm
investigated every witness identified to us and we have statements under penalty of felony from them. so, i just want to conclude with that. i have 45 seconds left so i'll ask one quick question on timing. you had a meeting with senator feinstein august 20th. >> my understanding -- i had a meeting. that's my understanging of the date. >> what was established earlier in testimony today was that the ranking member's staff helped to helped dr. ford to retain the katz law firm sometime between july 309 and august 7th so i just wanted you to classify one more time. in the meeting you had two weeks or more later, this issue was not raised with you. >> the issue was not raised. >> all right. thank you, my time is up. >> we'll take a five-minute break now. >> chairman grassley, we've

127 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on