- Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh got into a heated exchange with Sen. Dianne Feinstein during his hearing on Thursday.
- At several points, Kavanaugh raised his voice as he addressed the 85-year-old ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Earlier in the hearing, Kavanaugh went off on the Democrats, saying their behaviour during his nomination process has been “an embarrassment.”
Brett Kavanaugh got into a tense back-and-forth with Sen. Dianne Feinstein during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The Supreme Court nominee appeared before the committee to refute allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party when they were both in high school in the 1980s.
When it was Feinstein’s turn to question Kavanaugh, as ranking member of the committee, she asked if he denied Ford’s allegations, as well as the ones lodged in recent days by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
She then questioned why he hadn’t asked that an FBI investigation be conducted if he was confident he was innocent.
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 27, 2018
“Senator, I’ll do whatever the committee wants. I wanted a hearing the day after the allegation came up. I wanted to be here that day,” he said, raising his voice.
“Instead ten days [pass] where all this nonsense is coming out, you know, that I’m in gangs, I’m on boats in Rhode Island, I’m in Colorado, I’m sighted all over the place. And these things are printed and run breathlessly by cable news. I wanted a hearing the next day. My family has been destroyed by this, senator. Destroyed,” he said.
Feinstein responded by saying that the committee isn’t “in a position” to prove or disprove the allegation, which is why they want the majority to order an FBI investigation.
“It would just seem to me then when these allegations came forward that you would want the FBI to investigate those claims and clear it up once and for all,” Feinstein said.
Kavanaugh countered that the FBI “doesn’t reach a conclusion” when they investigate such matters, before launching back into a impassioned speech about how he wasn’t allowed to immediately refute the allegations to the committee.
“I wanted to be here – I wanted to be here the next day. It’s an outrage that I was not allowed to come and immediately defend my name and say I didn’t do this and give you all this evidence,” he said.
Feinstein responded by saying that the hearings were set by the majority. As she continued to talk more about the reasons to have an FBI investigation, Kavanaugh interrupted her saying “You’re interviewing me! You’re interviewing me! You’re doing it, senator.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’re doing it. There’s no conclusions reached,” he added.
“And what you’re saying, if I understand it, is that the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick are wrong,” Feinstein responded.
“That is emphatically what I’m saying. Emphatically. The Swetnick thing is a joke. That is a farce,” he said.
“Would you like to say more about it?” Feinstein asked.
“No,” Kavanaugh said bluntly.
Earlier in the hearing, Kavanaugh went on a tirade calling the Democrats’ behaviour during his nomination process “an embarrassment.” After his tense conversation with Feinstein, he went on to have contentious debates under questioning from Democratic Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Patrick Leahy, as well.
Meanwhile, the Republicans who questioned him were mostly supportive, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who accused the Democrats of trying to stall the process until the midterm elections.
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