Kirsten Gillibrand Says Republicans Are 'Bullying' Kavanaugh Accuser Into Testifying on Monday
On Sunday, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford went public with allegations that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school. Ford's lawyer repeatedly suggested she would be willing to testify before the Senate, but on Tuesday she insisted that the FBI must run a background check before she would testify.
Now, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is accusing Republicans of "bullying" Ford into doing what she supposedly wanted to do in the first place.
"What the republicans are doing is outrageous. They are creating a false choice, they are trying to bully her into testifying on Monday before a full FBI background check is completed," Gillibrand told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.
Gillibrand conveniently omitted the fact that Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, originally said she was willing to testify, to "participate in any proceedings that she's asked to participate in."
Republicans have been more than willing to schedule a hearing to allow Ford to testify alongside Kavanaugh. The hearing has been scheduled for Monday. In the recent twist, Ford's lawyers demanded that hearing be postponed, so that the FBI can carry out an investigation of her allegations.
The alleged assault took place 35 years ago — well outside of the statute of limitations. The FBI does indeed carry out background checks for judicial nominees, but in this case it would not be investigating a crime but bolstering a character witness against Kavanaugh.
Gillibrand brought up the routine FBI investigation in her interview Wednesday. "For a nomination for the Supreme Court, for any judicial nomination, there’s always an FBI investigation. They do it as part of the background check. This allegation is new, they should have at least that thorough nonpartisan review of the facts and then those facts can be presented to the senators so they can have a proper hearing," she argued.
The senator went on to accuse Republicans of undermining the process in an effort to bully Ford. "But unfortunately [the Republicans are] trying to set up a 'he said, she said' scenario and bully her into either testifying on Monday or not being heard at all," Gillibrand quipped. Ironically, given the age fo the allegations, they do amount to a "he said, she said," even with an FBI investigation.
Notice the sleight of hand. First, Ford — an anti-Trump activist who has taken part in the Women's March and the March for Science — comes forward with allegations and her lawyer demands she be heard. Republicans schedule a hearing. Then, Ford's lawyers pull a bait-and-switch Tuesday night, demanding an FBI investigation before any hearing.
Then, as if the attack were orchestrated from the beginning, Gillibrand accuses Republicans of trying to "bully" Ford into doing what she presumably wanted in the first place.
By the way, Gillibrand is far from alone. The Left has jumped into action, with a coalition of groups such as the Women's March, the Center for Popular Democracy, and Housing Works having "scheduled the near-constant disruptions at the Kavanaugh hearings as part of an organized effort to derail the confirmation process in a series of meetings since he was first nominated," The Daily Caller reported. These groups will pay protesters' fees for breaking the law.
Furthermore, the group Demand Justice also rolled out a new Washington, D.C., ad, tying President Donald Trump to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and Judge Kavanaugh, suggesting a moral equivalence between the three men. The group claims it plans to spend $700K on the ad.
With Gillibrand leading the charge, Democrats are now blaming Republicans for "bullying" Ford, when Republicans merely want to have the accuser testify so the issue can be dealt with speedily. After all, about 200 women have testified to Kavanaugh's high moral character and respect for women. Two of his former girlfriends have called him "a perfect gentleman." Kavanaugh coaches his daughter's basketball team and literally made history for hiring the most female clerks on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Now, when Republicans call out Democrat stall tactics, they are accused of "bullying" Ford by asking her to follow through with what she demanded in the first place. Is this what "bullying" means now? Senator Gillibrand says so, and it seems like she's just getting started.
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