Hirono: Kavanaugh Doesn't Get Presumption of Innocence Because of His 'Ideological Agenda'

September 23, 2018

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, where she appeared to insinuate that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not get the presumption of innocence because of his "ideological agenda," citing his views on abortion.

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California, has accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her to a bed, groping her, and trying to stifle her screams at a high school party in the early 1980's. Kavanaugh denied the allegations, as has his former classmate Mark Judge, who Ford claims was also in the room at the time of the alleged incident. Two other people that Ford alleges were at the party in question, have also denied any knowledge of the party or sexual assault.

Tapper said that four witnesses have denied knowledge of the sexual assault allegation waged against Kavanaugh before asking Hirono whether Kavanaugh should get the presumption of innocence as any other American.

"I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases. As I said, his credibility is already very questionable in my mind and in the minds of a lot of my fellow Judiciary Committee members, the Democrats," Hirono said. "When I say that he is very outcome driven, he has an ideological agenda, very outcome driven, and I could sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his ability to be fair."

She went on to talk about abortion and how she believes that Kavanaugh is against women having the right to reproductive choice.

"This is a person who is going to be sitting on our Supreme Court making decisions that will impact women’s reproductive choice. He very much is against women’s reproductive choice," Hirono said.

"There are so many indications of his own lack of credibility," she added.

Tapper then pressed her to clarify whether she doesn't think he has credibility because he wouldn't give an opinion on the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

"This is why it is so important that there at least be an investigation, so that there's some effort at collaboration," Hirono said. "We think that there was a lot of drinking going on and as far as his friend, Mark Judge, not even testifying. That is astounding to me."

Later in the interview, Tapper asked Hirono about the sexual assault allegations against Democratic National Committee co-chair Keith Ellison, prompting her to say that she makes "no excuses" for people who engage in this behavior. She then said that there needs to be an investigation into the allegations against him before quickly pivoting back to the Kavanaugh allegation. Ellison has denied the allegations.

Ford's lawyers told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday that she is accepting a request to speak before the committee next week. A person briefed on the call said that Ford's lawyers and a bipartisan group of committee staff agreed to a Thursday hearing.