Hawaii senator emerges as key, critical voice in vetting Kavanaugh

As Brett Kavanaugh faces a sexual assault allegation that has rocked his nomination to be a Supreme Court ju...

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 1:28 AM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 1:28 AM

As Brett Kavanaugh faces a sexual assault allegation that has rocked his nomination to be a Supreme Court justice, one Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee has emerged as an outspoken critic against how Republicans are handling the issue: Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono.

Hirono, alongside New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand, accepted a letter on Thursday signed by more than 1,000 alumni of the Holton-Arms School *in support of Christine Blasey Ford, who attended the school when she says Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Brett Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford

Donald Trump

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Mazie Hirono

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

US Senate

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Discrimination

Sex and gender issues

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Sexual harassment

Societal issues

Society

Political organizations

US political parties

US Republican Party

Assault and battery

Chuck Grassley

Continents and regions

Hawaii

North America

The Americas

United States

Criminal investigations

Criminal law

Law and legal system

US Democratic Party

Hirono and other Democrats have called for an FBI investigation into the matter, but Republicans have continued to deny the request.

"Why isn't Judge Kavanaugh asking for an FBI investigation if (he has) nothing to hide?" Hirono asked during a news conference about the letter.

Ford's story was leaked to the press earlier this month before she came forward to the Washington Post. Her lawyer told CNN she's now receiving death threats over the allegation. Hirono said the threats, brought on by her outing, constitute being labeled as "intimidation of a witness."

"I call upon the FBI on their own to investigate this occurrence and all the threats she's undergoing," she added.

Hirono, one of just four women serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- the panel overseeing Kavanaugh's confirmation -- first brought up topic of sexual misconduct during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing earlier this month.

She asked Kavanaugh, "Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made any unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?" as well as "Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?" Kavanaugh answered no to both questions.

The Hawaii senator told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday that she asks these questions of every nominee who comes before the committees she sits on.

"I've asked this of ... I would say at this point about 100 nominees," she remarked.

After Hirono posed the questions to Kavanaugh, it emerged that Ford sent a letter to Congress prior to the hearings accusing him of physical and sexual assault, when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.

Ford alleges that at a party in high school, Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom along with his former classmate and that Kavanaugh attempted to remove her clothes. She also says Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream. Kavanaugh said he "categorically and unequivocally" denies the allegation, which he called "completely false." Mark Judge, the other classmate identified in the allegation, also denied the incident occurred.

Following the public disclosure of the alleged incident, Hirono joined other Democrats demanding more than two witnesses at the Judiciary hearing and at a news conference on Tuesday. She has said she believes Ford.

Hirono also expressed her frustration at the broader issue -- sexual harassment and assault in general.

"Guess who is perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It's the men in this country. And I just want to say to the men in this country: just shut up and step up, do the right thing for a change," she said at the news conference.

Despite the demands by Ford's legal team and Senate Democrats for an FBI investigation, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and President Donald Trump have opposed holding an FBI investigation into the incident. Grassley has instead scheduled a hearing for next Monday for both Ford and Kavanaugh to testify about the incident.

Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, set a deadline of Friday at 10 a.m. ET for a decision from Ford on whether she will testify, and it's unclear whether she'll choose to appear.

Hirono said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day" that committee is setting up a situation "where there is not even a modicum of fairness extended" to Ford without a proper FBI investigation into the incident.

"I think we should all be focused on why the heck does she not want to come. She doesn't want to be a part of a railroad job," Hirono said. She asserted that Republicans are rushing to confirm Kavanaugh because the court's "session is going to start in October and the President wants his guy there to, he hopes, help him evade criminal or civil proceedings."

Hirono also railed against Grassley's assertion that Republicans have done all they can do to contact Ford and have her appear before his committee, telling ABC's "World News Tonight" on Wednesday that "That's such bulls*** I can hardly stand it."

This story has been updated to include additional developments.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather