Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) weighed in on the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Wednesday, likening them to those against disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been indicted on sexual assault charges.
Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, argued on Hill.TV that the accusations against Kavanaugh had "credibility." He explained that the decades of silence by the accusers fit the pattern, because accusations against public figures begin slowly, many years later, and then grow in number.
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"The specific reason they have credibility is that they fit the pattern, and the pattern is that when you find someone like a Harvey Weinstein, or someone else who's very respected and powerful and suddenly turns, and is suddenly accused of sexually exploiting women, first one person comes forward, and then another, and then the dam breaks, and you find a number of women coming forward," Nadler said.
Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct on Wednesday by a woman represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti. She alleges that in the 1980s, she attended multiple parties where Kavanaugh was aggressive with women and that gang rapes occurred at these parties. The accuser also claims she was a victim of gang rape at one of these parties.
No witness has yet come forward to corroborate these allegations. California professor Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. The other two women accusing Kavanaugh of misconduct are not scheduled to speak before the Committee.
Nadler nevertheless treated all the allegations as equally credible.
"Here's a very powerful judge, who has been nominated to the highest court in the land. Women are going to be very reluctant to upset their own lives by making these accusations by revealing what happened to them. But once one comes forward, then a second, and now a third, that fits the pattern of truthful allegations against powerful men," Nadler said.
Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations made against him, calling them a "last minute smear campaign." Of the recent allegation that he organized parties with drugs and alcohols for "gang rape," Kavanaugh said in a statement, "This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) has rejected Democrat efforts to push off the hearings which they had initially demanded. "I am not going to silence Dr. Ford after I promised and assured her that I would provide her a safe, comfortable, and dignified opportunity to testify," he said.
President Trump defended Kavanaugh as an upstanding nominee and called the allegations against him "completely political."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has promised that Kavanaugh would be voted on and confirmed before long.