Schumer: "There's No Presumption Of Innocence" For Kavanaugh

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said today Judge Kavanaugh, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, receives "no presumption of innocence or guilt" as a nominee seeking confirmation. Schumer called Thursday's hearing where one of Kavanaugh's accusers will testify part of a "fact-finding proceeding," not a legal proceeding.

"Do you agree, then, that he has the, quote, 'presumption of innocence?'" a reporter asked the Senator at a media availability today.

"What I believe is we ought to get to the bottom and find the facts in the way that the FBI has always done. There's no presumption of innocence or guilt when you have a nominee before you."





"Find the facts, and then let the Senate and let the American people make their judgment not whether the person's guilty or innocent, but whether the person deserves to have the office," Schumer said.

REPORTER: Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell just said that Judge Kavanaugh, quote, "deserves the presumption of innocence." Do you agree with that? And do you view this hearing through the prism of a -- a legal proceeding?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, MINORITY LEADER: No, it's not a legal proceeding; it's a fact-finding proceeding. We do this with every major nominee, and countless times, I think 10 times in the last year, when new information comes up, the FBI goes again and does its background check. This is standard operating procedure, and the question looms: Why are our Republicans deviating from it (sic) from here? This is not a criminal trial. This is not a -- a -- this is to find the facts.

You have two diametrically-opposed stories, and there are two issues: A, which story is right? And if -- if Dr. Ford is telling the truth, then Judge Kavanaugh's credibility is in great question.

REPORTER: So just wait. Do you agree, then, that he has the, quote, "presumption of innocence"?

SCHUMER: I agree that we -- this is not -- that's a criminal trial. What -- what I believe is we ought to get to the bottom and find the facts in the way that the FBI has always done. There's no presumption of innocence or guilt when you have a nominee before you. There is rather -- rather, find the facts. Find the facts, and then let the Senate and let the American people make their judgment not whether the person's guilty or innocent, but whether the person deserves to have the office for which he or see -- she is chosen, plain and simple.

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