President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh unleashed an emotional rebuke at Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday over what he characterized as a conspiracy to keep him off the court by deploying charges of sexual assault.
Testifying less than an hour after one of his accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, concluded her account of a drunken Kavanaugh holding her against her will at a high school party and sexually assaulting her, he began his defiant testimony in an emphatic voice that crackled with anger before giving way to tears. The following passage is an excerpt taken from Kavanaugh’s combative opening statement.
“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy. Since my nomination in July there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything, to block my confirmation.
Shortly after I was nominated the Democratic Senate leader said he would ‘oppose me with everything’ he’s got. A Democratic senator on this committee publicly referred to me as evil. Evil! Think about that word — and said that those who supported me were complicit in evil.
“Another Democratic senator on this committee said, ‘Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.’ A former head of the Democratic National Committee said, ‘Judge Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.’ I understand the passions of the moment, but I would say to those senators, your words have meaning.
Millions of Americans listened carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent email to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends to blow me up and take me down? You sowed the wind. For decades to come I fear that the whole country will reap the whirlwind
The behaviour of several of the Democratic members of this committee at my hearing a few weeks ago was an embarrassment, but at least it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at Borking. Those efforts didn’t work. When I was at least OK enough at the hearings that it looked like I might actually get confirmed, a new tactic was needed.
Some of you were lying in wait and had it ready. This first allegation was held in secret for weeks by a Democratic member of this committee and by staff. It would be needed only if you couldn’t take me out on the merits. When it was needed, this allegation was unleashed and publicly deployed over Dr. Ford’s wishes. And then, as no doubt was expected if not planned, came a long series of false last-minute smears designed to scare me and drive me out of the process before any hearing occurred. Crazy stuff.
Gangs, illegitimate children, fights on boats in Rhode Island, all nonsense, reported breathlessly, and often uncritically, by the media. This has destroyed my family and my good name.
A good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government. This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fuelled with apparent pent-up anger at President Trump and the 2016 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 opposition left-wing groups. This is a circus.”