New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin said Thursday it wasn't her and co-author Kate Kelly's role to determine whether Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh should remain on the bench, although they wrote it "rang true" to them that Kavanaugh was guilty of multiple acts of sexual misconduct.
The authors wrote in their new book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, that the charges by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez against Kavanaugh felt true to them in a "gut" way. Kavanaugh testified during his confirmation hearings that he had never committed any act of sexual assault.
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Asked by Hill.TV's Rising co-host Krystal Ball how the reporters believed decades-old bad acts should be viewed in the context of an otherwise respectable person's career, Pogrebin said they repeatedly wrestled with the question.
"I can really see both sides," she said. "Even if he did these things at 17 and 18, as bad as they were … In terms of his behavior and his conduct, he's widely admired. Should this ruin his life forever? I think that's a real question. On the other hand, I think it's important that these allegations are taken seriously."
"There are some people who argue this kind of behavior is a gateway to other aggressive behavior, and that kind of person doesn't deserve to be on the Court," she added. "We decided that's not our determination to make."
However, Kelly said "one of the big revelations from our book" was Christine Blasey Ford's friend Leland Keyser saying she didn't believe Ford's story. Ford named Keyser as a fellow attendee at the party where Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates called for Kavanaugh to be impeached following fresh reporting by Pogrebin and Kelly on Ramirez's allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale dorm party.
But that reporting has come under sharp criticism. Of the seven people who the reporters said corroborate Ramirez's account, only one had heard Kavanaugh was involved and didn't witness it directly.
An excerpted portion of their book in the Times mentioned a previously unreported allegation against Kavanaugh, based on Yale classmate Max Stier's statement last year to lawmakers. Stier told them he saw Kavanaugh expose himself at a party and have his penis pushed into a woman's hands.
The Times came under fire for not including in the excerpt that the woman did not recall the alleged incident and wouldn't speak to reporters about it. Pogrebin said on CNN it was likely because she was drunk at the time. The Times corrected the piece to include the crucial detail.
The reporters have been defensive in response to the scrutiny of their work.
"People see what they want to see," Kelly told Rising about the partisan response to the book. "They're imposing their own worldview onto the facts."
Pogrebin shared a Vox article saying it was improper of Fox News to refer to the update of the excerpt as a "correction," although Pogrebin herself told The View the piece needed to be corrected.
Pogrebin told Rising co-host Saagar Enjeti she didn't want to blame Fox News, saying she only tweeted the Vox piece because it added "a little bit of balance."