Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee and beyond accused Republicans this weekend of “bullying” Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of groping her in high school over 35 years ago.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said last Thursday that Republicans were “bullying” Ford by saying that they would hold a vote on Kavanaugh if she did not accept an invitation to testify Monday. Republicans have since relented, and extendeded their deadline for Ford to accept their invitation several times until apparently acquiescing in her demand to testify on Thursday.
Nevertheless, Democrats continued to complain Republicans were “bullying” Ford by asking her to tell her story under oath.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Friday that Republicans were “bullying” a “survivor of attempted rape”:
It’s clear that Republicans have learned nothing over the last 27 years. Bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee—particularly at a time when she’s receiving death threats—is an extreme abuse of power. https://t.co/XoAcqEQF1a
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 21, 2018
Fellow committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) agreed Saturday:
Courageously, Dr. Ford will tell her story in the face of an impossible choice & vile bullying by Republican leadership. I will support her steadfast bravery against the arbitrary, unfair, irrational constraints set by Chairman Grassley.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 22, 2018
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) repeated the “bullying” claim on Sunday, comparing it to the alleged “mistreatment” of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991:
Witnessing the bullying of Dr. Ford reminds me so much of the mistreatment Anita Hill endured after bravely coming forward to share her story.
I came into the US Senate because I didn’t want to see another woman—or any survivor—treated that way again. https://t.co/BR0WIqCQJ1
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) September 23, 2018
And Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) accused Republicans of “bullying” Ford by insisting on a “sham” hearing with “no witnesses” — though all of the potential witnesses have denied Ford’s account:
If Dr. Ford has the courage to come before the committee, the committee should have the decency to hold a REAL hearing, with relevant witnesses, and to treat her with dignity and respect. NO BULLYING and no sham hearing!
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 23, 2018
And Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, has also accused Republicans of using deadlines “to bully” her client gratuitously.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) had finally had enough on Sunday:
Chairman Grassley has spent 7 days working to accommodate Dr Ford so the Senate could hear her testimony.
He’s offered open/closed hearings, sending staff to her, and has delayed the entire committee agenda for her countless times.
Calling this “bullying” is simply outrageous
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 23, 2018
The Judiciary committee’s Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who said last week men should “shut up” about the issue, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union Sunday morning that Kavanaugh is not entitled to the presumption of innocence, and that Democrats may continue to investigate the accusation against him even if is confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This article has been updated to include Debra Katz’s accusation.