Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats' "shameful smear campaign" against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in a fiery speech on the Senate floor on Monday.
"Democrats have signaled for months they'd put on whatever performance the far-left special interests demanded and throw all the mud they could manufacture," McConnell said. "Well, it's not like they didn't warn us. But even by the far left's standards, this shameful smear campaign has hit a new low."
"Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. That is where we are. This is what the so-called 'Resistance' has become. A smear campaign, pure and simple. Aided and abetted by members of the United States Senate," McConnell said.
Let me start with a quote: “I’m going to fight this nomination with everything I’ve got.” That was the Democratic Leader on television mere hours after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court. Others pledged their opposition before he was even named. Before they’d reviewed a lick of evidence. Before they’d heard a minute of testimony. The Democrats had already made up their minds and chosen their tactics: delay, obstruct, and resist. Whatever it took — whatever the truth really was — they were going to do whatever they could to stop this qualified, experienced, and mainstream nominee.
Democrats have signaled for months they’d put on whatever performance the far-left special interests demanded and throw all the mud they could manufacture. Well, it’s not like they didn’t warn us. But even by the far left’s standards, this shameful smear campaign has hit a new low. I’ll get into the specifics in just a moment. But I want to be perfectly clear about what has taken place.
Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. That is where we are. This is what the so-called ‘Resistance’ has become. A smear campaign, pure and simple. Aided and abetted by members of the United States Senate.
Eight weeks ago, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee received a letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with an uncorroborated allegation of misconduct. She had requested the matter be handled discretely and confidentially. The responsible next step would have been alerting the full committee so a confidential, bipartisan investigation could begin. Committee staff would have followed their standard practice for investigating background information. Senators could have questioned Judge Kavanaugh in their meetings, or in closed session, while respecting Dr. Ford’s request for confidentiality.
But Democrats didn’t do any of that. They sat on Dr. Ford’s letter for seven weeks. They kept it secret. They did nothing. They bid their time. And then they threw Professor Ford’s wishes overboard and leaked it to the press. Our colleague from Delaware has himself indicated that either the Ranking Member’s office or the Democrat committee staff likely leaked the document. As I’ve noted, we know the chain of custody of the letter went through the Democrat side of the Judiciary Committee.
So, does this sound like Democratic Senators take their responsibilities seriously and want to get to the truth? Or does it sound like a choreographed smear campaign that ignored Dr. Ford’s request for confidentiality in order to inflict maximum damage at the last minute on Judge Kavanaugh and his family?
This is an allegation of misconduct which all four supposed witnesses either flatly contradict or are unable to back up. In addition to Judge Kavanaugh, the other three supposed witnesses have said they have — quote — ‘no knowledge,’ ‘no recollection,’ and ‘no memory’ of the alleged incident. It’s not just one alleged witness disagreeing with the allegations — it’s literally every person who was supposedly there. One of these supposed witnesses said she does not even know Judge Kavanaugh.
So all the witnesses that Dr. Ford says were present at the party have told the Committee — on the record and under penalty of felony — all confirm that they do not remember any such party, do not know Judge Kavanaugh, or have never seen him do anything remotely like what has been alleged. And this unsubstantiated allegation stands entirely at odds with everything we’ve heard about Judge Kavanaugh’s character from those who have worked with him and socialized with him, dating all the way back to high school.
But Democrats wouldn’t let a few inconvenient things — like a complete lack of evidence, or an accuser’s request for confidentiality — get between them and a good smear. It’s despicable. And the contrast with the completely professional conduct of Chairman Grassley could not be starker.
As soon as Chairman Grassley learned about this allegation, he handled it through proper channels. He immediately began gathering the facts. His office promptly conducted a transcribed interview of Judge Kavanaugh — in which, under penalty of felony, he unequivocally denied the last-minute allegation. And the office received statements from all the other supposed witnesses that either directly contradicted the story or denied knowing anything about it.
What’s more, Chairman Grassley ensured that Dr. Ford could be heard in a forum of her choosing — either here or in California; either in public or in private; either with the staff or with the Members. He has gone above and beyond to accommodate her requests. Thanks to him, we have a fair and open hearing scheduled for Thursday. Dr. Ford will be able to state her allegation under oath, and Judge Kavanaugh will be able to respond.
But the smear campaign didn’t stop there. That was just “Act One.” According to the reporter of this second allegation, the accuser, quote, “came forward because Senate Democrats began looking…” And now they’re calling for even further delays and further obstruction over a second, decades-old allegation that is so thin and unsupported that the New York Times refused to even run a story about it.
This claim is so dubious that the New York Times passed on the story entirely after it looked into it. Here’s why the New York Times declined to publish. It — quote — ‘interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story and could find no one with firsthand knowledge.’ Not one person ‘with firsthand knowledge’ to support the allegation — but rather multiple, on-the-record denials. Again. The Times also reported that the claimant said she, herself, is uncertain of her claim. That’s the New York Times, whose credo is ‘all the news that’s fit to print.’ And it found this latest last-minute allegation not even fit to print.
But that hasn’t stopped Judiciary Committee Democrats from shoveling it into their smear campaign and demanding for yet further delays. They kept this one secret from Republicans, too, by the way. Evidently, several Democratic offices knew of this allegation for at least a week, but like with Dr. Ford’s claim, they sat on this one, too — so the Committee could not take any proper action. They just wanted it to wind up in the press.
Another orchestrated, last-minute hit on the nominee. And now they’re acting like it’s a legitimate reason to delay things even further. As though they hadn’t already announced themselves as completely opposed to his nomination, anyway. As if they hadn’t already promised the far left they would lead the fight to bring this nomination down — whatever it took, whatever the cost. Let’s put aside the last-minute, unsubstantiated smears. Let’s return to the facts. Let’s have a fair hearing on Thursday.
Here are the facts we do have: Hundreds of men and women who have known Brett Kavanaugh across his life have written or spoken out that he is a man of strong character and tremendous integrity. Numerous witnesses testified before the Judiciary Committee that he is a trusted mentor, a loyal friend, and a lifelong champion of women. More than 75 women gathered last week to share their decades-long knowledge of Judge Kavanaugh as a, quote, ‘responsible guy who treats us with kindness and respect,’ and a ‘true gentleman in all aspects of his life.’
And separately, of course, it remains beyond reasonable dispute that Judge Kavanaugh’s legal brilliance and excellence on the bench make him one of the very most qualified Supreme Court nominees in the history of our country. All these facts are quite clearly on one side. Maybe that’s why the Democrats are so panicked. Maybe that’s why they are so willing to try to bring down this nominee.
In the meantime, a good and honorable man and his family are receiving death threats. They are the subject of smears. And are facing Senate Democrats who say he has no presumption of innocence because they don’t agree with his judicial philosophy. Well, before the week is out, both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford will testify, under oath, before the Judiciary Committee. Chairman Grassley has made sure the facts will be heard. Judge Kavanaugh and the American people deserve nothing less. And I want to make it perfectly clear—Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor. Up or down, on the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future.
McConnell also put out a tweetstorm on Monday:
To some, the ends justify the means. Yet again, Senate Democrats actively withheld information from the rest of the Judiciary committee. https://t.co/dtrcsAWEcT
Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of unsubstantiated and uncorroborated allegations. This is a smear campaign, pure and simple…aided and abetted by members of the United States Senate.
Here are the facts before us: This is an allegation of misconduct which all four supposed witnesses either flatly contradict or are unable to back up. It’s not just one alleged witness disagreeing with the allegations -- it’s literally every person who was supposedly there.
Hundreds of men and women who have known Brett Kavanaugh across his life have written or spoken out that he is a man of strong character and tremendous integrity. Numerous witnesses testified that Brett Kavanaugh is a trusted mentor, and a lifelong champion of women.