Gillibrand: GOP approach amounts to 'sham hearing' on Kavanaugh allegations
Posted September 19, 2018 6:23 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York knocked the GOP's handling of accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying Wednesday that the scheduled hearing for Monday would be a "sham."
"They are trying to create a sham hearing on Monday," Gillibrand told CNN's Jim Acosta on "The Situation Room."
Gillibrand said that without first deferring to an FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual assault brought by Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh and requesting corroborating witnesses to testify, the Senate Judiciary Committee's approach would amount to a "he said-she said" that was unfair to Ford.
In a letter from her attorneys on Tuesday, Ford called for an FBI investigation into her allegations before she would testify to Congress. Kavanaugh had said on Monday that he would be willing to speak with lawmakers to refute the allegations, and President Donald Trump has downplayed the notion of having the FBI look into the matter.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa has said he does not believe an FBI investigation would be appropriate.
Gillibrand said in Wednesday's interview that she believed Ford and that without an FBI investigation and corroborating witnesses, she did not think Ford should participate in the planned hearing.
Gillibrand compared the committee's handling of the Kavanaugh allegations to those brought decades ago by Anita Hill against now-Justice Clarence Thomas.
"It's absurd that 27 years later we can't do better than what we did 27 years ago," she said.
Asked about Trump's response to the allegations, Gillibrand noted that "over a dozen" women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment and assault. The President has denied the allegations against him.
"He has not shown empathy towards women," Gillibrand said of Trump. "He doesn't believe women, and I don't think he actually values women."