Sen. Tillis on "Playbook" Against Kavanaugh: Is This Now The Future For Judicial Nominees?

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Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) reflected on the future handling of judicial nominations in the U.S. Senate at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Judge Kavanaugh following the testimony of his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Kavanaugh lamented that things are so partisan that groups "attacking" Kavanaugh have already bought the URL for the next judge to attack. He told the Supreme Court nominee that he's part of a new strategy to stop judicial nominees.

"One of the groups that are out there, attacking you and trying to create fodder and all of these red herrings, has already acquired a URL for the next judge that they're going to attack. URL's right here. They've already purchased it. They're ready to go. This is the playbook. This is the way we're going to run this committee from this point forward," Tillis said.





"You’re the first major target of a new strategy that's developed here. And I think you're right. I think it's just basically attack, attack, attack. It's not advise and consent; it's search and destroy," the Senator said.

Transcript:

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Judge Kavanaugh, thank you again for being here. And I apologize for what you're going through right now. I can't imagine it. I've gone through a campaign and had a lot of smears, but it pales in comparison to what you've had to deal with.

I think one thing - one point that I'd like to make, from the onset. If we go back and review how this committee processes work, we've got a lot of work to do. We've had members take it on themselves to release committee confidential documents instead of respecting the process.

We've had an allegation held for nearly seven weeks that would've given us plenty of time to investigate, and then when we finally got the information, I invite everybody, particularly the American public, there is an investigation going on. And a lot of it's been documented.

There's a chronology on the website that says that each and every time an allegation was made, the staff followed up on it. And sadly, in several different instances, the Democrats declined to participate. They listened in on at least one interview with you, didn't ask a single question.

If they wanted to find other leads and other things to do, why not ask, if you're really trying to get to the facts, if you're really trying to do your job to investigate? We're investigating, it's our job. I think in response to the ranking member's questions that Judge Kavanaugh said, "I'm here, you're asking me questions." But you know what?

When the committee staff, I assume, directed by the ranking member says, no, we're not going to ask questions to Judge Kavanaugh when he wanted to come in and clear his good name.

What are you really after? You may not be after the truth, maybe you are. Maybe you're after executing some sort of a political agenda. Maybe it's a mix of both.

But I think you've been treated unfairly and I'm amazed that after 32-hours of testimony, one and a half hours I sat in the room, that none of these questions came up when it was all fully known. Lawyered up, as a matter of fact.

I also want to go back to the comments this morning. I think I heard -- and we can go back to the record if someone disagrees with me -- I think I heard Dr. -- Dr. Ford say that she wasn't aware of the fact that we said we'd come to California. We'd make it confidential. We'll completely depose and ask any questions you want to.

I think I heard her say she wasn't aware of that. I don't know where that came with counsel (ph) or whether counsel just neglected to tell her -- her counsel.

But the fact of the matter is that offer was out there. We were moving heaven and earth and even moving the schedule to get to the schedule to get to the truth. We're doing an investigation. We're doing our level best.

I hope that the American people who are watching this will go out to the Senate Judiciary website and take a look at this chronology. Take a look at the lack of investigation on the part of the people who want the investigation. It doesn't make a lot of sense.

Every opportunity you have to go and question a witness. Every opportunity that we've had to find more truth, to find more facts, we've done it. It's documented. We've got sworn statements. We're doing our job. We're doing the committee work.

Judge Kavanaugh, I also have to say I believe you're a part of -- you're -- you’re the first major target of a new strategy that's developed here. And I think you're right. I think it's just basically attack, attack, attack. It's not advise and consent; it's search and destroy.

And maybe one of the best evidence of this is one of the websites -- one of the groups that are out there, attacking you and trying to create fodder and all of these red herrings, has already acquired a URL for the next judge that they're going to attack.

URL's right here. They've already purchased it. They're ready to go. This is the playbook. This is the way we're going to run this committee from this point forward? Take a look at it. I'll -- I’ll make sure we get it out on our website.

We've already got a stop another judge who hasn’t been nominated URL, from the same people that are trying to mobilize people to attack you. There are some people here who may sincerely have concerns.

I would tell you to pound the table with your ranking member and the leadership on your side to say: why didn't we ask questions? Why did we listen in and differ? Why didn't we do our part of the investigation while this leader did everything he could to accommodate Dr. Ford and to run down every single lead that's been presented to us weeks after it was known to the minority?

I look forward to supporting your confirmation. I believe that you're going to be on the bench. You know as Senator Cornyn said, these are allegations that can be pursued through the courts if they actually rise to a level to where they can be prosecuted. And everybody on the other side of this dais knows that that's not going to happen.

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