Hirono: Republicans Do Not Want To Question Kavanaugh Accuser, Afraid It Will "Reveal Who They Are"

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Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said Tuesday that the upcoming hearing with a sexual assault accuser will determine "whether or not Judge Kavanaugh has the credibility and character to serve on the Supreme Court."

Hirono also called it an opportunity for Senate Republicans to "reveal themselves" through the way they treat the accuser, Dr. Ford. She said they are afraid.

"I think this is an example of the Republicans on the committee not wanting to reveal themselves to the American public because what should be happening is that we should be asking the questions," the Senator said Tuesday morning on CNN.





"And I think it's, perfectly, reasonable for Dr. Ford's attorneys to want to know who this prosecutor is. And, by the way, this is not a court of law. This is not a criminal proceeding. But it should be very obvious to the people of our country, by now, that the Republicans do not want to question Dr. Ford directly because it will reveal who they are. And I think they're afraid of that," she said.

Hirono also warned that there will always be an "asterisk" by Kavanaugh's name.

"I think most people who look at this process, and want some monochrome (ph) of fairness, would agree that we should have an FBI investigation," the Senator said. "But they continue to stonewall. And I think that they're doing a tremendous disservice to the public - American people, as well as, should he get on the court, there will always be an asterisk, and a cloud, over his name, and on his name. And I think that is not what we want to do to the Supreme Court."

Transcript, via CNN:

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Senator, are there plans to hear from Debbie Ramirez on Thursday?

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): I don't know, but what I really want to hear from this administration, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is, there will be an FBI investigation. That is what we need. And I think most people who look at this process, and want some monochrome (ph) of fairness, would agree that we should have an FBI investigation.

But they continue to stonewall. And I think that they're doing a tremendous disservice to the public - American people, as well as, should he get on the court, there will always be an asterisk, and a cloud, over his name, and on his name. And I think that is not what we want to do to the Supreme Court.

CAMEROTA: Did you watch Brett Kavanaugh's interview on Fox last night?

HIRONO: No, I was not able to. I saw snippets of it...

CAMEROTA: Yes.

HIRONO: ...this morning.

CAMEROTA: Let me play a snippet, for people who may have missed it, where he talks about his own - he denies the accusations, and he talks about his own sexual history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I have never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford. I've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, where do you think this is coming from? Why would she make this up?

KAVANAUGH: What I know is the truth. And the truth is, I've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school, or otherwise. I'm not questioning, and have not questioned that, perhaps, Dr. Ford, at some point, in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in some place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: You, of course, famously, asked him that at the beginning of your questioning of him at his confirmation hearing. And he said that no, he had no history of sexual misconduct as an adult. Well, that was your question. Whatsoever, what did you think of his response there?

HIRONO: Well, of course, he said no, but are you talking about his response last night? Of course he's going to maintain is innocence, but this is why we need to have him go before the FBI. If he's not afraid of the truth, why is he not, himself, as Dr. Ford as done, called for an FBI investigation?

And, by the way, this is not a criminal proceeding. People keep talking about presumption of innocence that is a (INAUDIBLE) uses in a criminal proceeding. This is a hearing to determine whether or not Judge Kavanaugh has the credibility and character to serve on the Supreme Court.

It is a interview. Nobody is entitled to sit on the Supreme Court. People talk about this is a promotion. Geez, that sounds like a job interview setting to me. So, credibility, his character, are all the kinds of things that any job interviewer would want to know. Based on the research that I've done, his credibility is not - is very questionable because, one, he misapplies cases - he miss - he misinterprets cases.

He - there's some cases that I'm very familiar with, relating to Hawaii, and he misstated the holding of the case, he misapplies the case. And so, his credibility is very questionable. And that is, very much, on the line when we are talking about a job interview for a lifetime position to the Supreme Court. Where this person will be the fifth vote on so many...

CAMEROTA: Yes.

[08:25:00]

HIRONO: ...issues that concern us and will, basically, run our lives on - on women's right to choose, on unions, on everything.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I know that you - you're very interested, obviously as you've said, in an FBI investigation. That's not going to happen. That's not what the President is calling for.

But what we have heard is the lawyer representing Christine Blasey Ford has sent a letter to your chairman, Chuck Grassley, expressing concern over the Republicans having hired an experienced sex crime prosecutor to help - I guess, help them craft their questions for Thursday's hearing. Are you comfortable with that? Do you think that it would be helpful?

HIRONO: I think this is an example of the Republicans on the committee not wanting to reveal themselves to the American public because what should be happening is that we should be asking the questions.

And I think it's, perfectly, reasonable for Dr. Ford's attorneys to want to know who this prosecutor is. And, by the way, this is not a court of law. This is not a criminal proceeding. But it should be very obvious to the people of our country, by now, that the Republicans do not want to question Dr. Ford directly because it will reveal who they are. And I think they're afraid of that.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly while I have you, how much of this, would you say, is connected to the treatment that Merrick Garland got?

HIRONO: You know, to me that is - you talk about that in the context of this, all-fired (ph), rush to get this person on the court. But really, I'm looking at Dr. Ford and hoping that she'll get a fair, which she isn't.

But I'm looking at Brett Kavanaugh for himself, and whether his credibility, and the way he approaches cases is something that reassures me that he can be fair and impartial as a justice. And I have concluded that he cannot do that.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, is it also fair to say that the Democrats, given the treatment that Merrick Garland got, the Democrats are not inclined to give this nominee the benefit of the doubt now?

HIRONO: That's not - you know, as I said, we can talk all day about the total unfair treatment that Merrick Garland got. But at the same time, we are confronted with whether or not we're going to approve this person. And I think that we're not doing our jobs if we're not focusing on his own credibility, his own credentials, his own ability to be open with us. And that's what that issue, at least for me. And I have come to the conclusion he cannot be the impartial justice that I would want on the Supreme Court.

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