As more questions arose about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s 11th-hour accusation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators stepped up their attacks on the judge’s nomination and their support for his accuser.
On Tuesday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen retweeted a message from her fellow Democrat, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, announcing: “We will not stand for the continued victimization and smearing of Dr. Blasey Ford. All of us must work to end this kind of treatment of survivors who bravely share their experiences.”
“Women often don’t come forward to tell their stories of abuse because they know they’ll be discounted, demeaned and then ignored,” Sen. Shaheen tweeted.
“Attacked?” “Victimized?” “Demeaned and ignored?” This aggressive stance from the state’s two US Senators comes at a problematic moment for the anti-Kavanaugh effort. No evidence to corroborate Dr. Ford’s accusation has come forward, while one of the people she identified as a witness, Patrick J. Smythe, has released a statement saying he wasn’t at the alleged party.
“I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth said in the letter. “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
Worse for the anti-Kavanaugh effort, Smythe added that he has known Kavanaugh since high school and “I know him to be a person of great integrity. I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women.”
Despite the lack of any evidence to support Dr. Ford’s claim, both New Hampshire senators say she “deserves to be heard and respected,” as Sen. Shaheen put it. And Republicans agree. The GOP leadership have offered to have Dr. Ford speak either in a private session or a public one.
Only one problem: It’s not at all clear Dr. Ford is willing to speak.
After claiming on Monday that her client was prepared to testify—“She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth”— attorney Debra Katz now says Dr. Ford is refusing to testify until after “a full investigation” of her accusations by the FBI. According to her attorneys, Dr. Ford fears she will be “interrogated” by“Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up.’”
This concern is ironic given that both Sen. Hassan and Shaheen—and every Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee—had “made up their minds” to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination long before the hearings began. In fact, Sens. Hassan and Shaheen have been calling for the vote to be delayed since August 22—weeks before Senate Democrats disclosed the existence of Dr. Ford’s allegations.
Sen. Shaheen also insists that the FBI can investigate the crime allegedly committed by Judge Kavanaugh despite the fact that the FBI has already announced they will not be conducting such an investigation.
“The FBI doesn’t conduct criminal investigations into nominees, especially not into an alleged incident that would not have been a violation of a federal statute. State law would be at issue. That’s why the FBI responded to Ms. Feinstein’s statement last week by saying it had no plans to conduct a criminal probe and merely added Ms. Ford’s letter to Judge Kavanaugh’s background file.”
According to Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, New Hampshire’s two senators are part of a partisan strategy Democrats put in place from the beginning: “Delay, at all costs.”
“Democrats have been working to find ways to delay this nomination from the very beginning. This [Dr. Ford’s accusation] is just their current excuse to delay. The real goal is to prevent any nominee from filling this seat until 2020,” Severino told NHJournal.
Does that sound extreme? Sen. Hirono has already said publicly that Democrats could keep the seat vacant until 2020 if they can defeat Kavanaugh and win control of the Senate in the upcoming midterms.
“I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” Hirono said.”So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”
Currently, New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are doing their part to make that happen.