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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  October 4, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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moments from now we're about to hear from republican leadership and chuck grassley and mitch mcconnell. and we'll bring to you the nomination as soon as it begins. it all comes as senators are viewing that report that has consumed the nation. the seventh fbi background investigation of brett kavanaugh. but after one week of waiting, as the fbi worked, the nation is
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no closer to calming the controversy on this supreme court nominee. protesters gathering in the nation's capital right now. with the fbi report done, the vote for kavanaugh's nomination appears to be on track to happen this weekend. however, as to whether we are closer to knowing if the man who may be the next supreme court justice committed sexual assault as a teen-ager, the answer remains as mired in partisanship as ever. >> the fact is, these allegations have not been corroborated. none of these allegations have been corroborated in the seven investigations. not in the new fbi investigation, not anywhere. >> the most notable part of this report is what's not in it. it looks to be the product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the white house, i don't know.
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>> now all eyes are on these five possible swing votes and what they view the fbi found. both republicans susan kcollins and jeff flake say the report looks, quote, thorough. there's just a single copy of this fbi report lying behind these closed doors. in what's called the scif. all 100 senators will be allowed to see this report but it's possible that it will never be seen by you or me, the public. the republican senators, everyone's watching, murkowski, flake, collins, they just finished viewing this document together? >> reporter: exactly.
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this morning there was a briefing led by the small number of republican staffers and also democratic staffers who have access to the report, four on each side. then you have senators going back and reading the document themselves. this is important to point out. the key thing that everybody's been focused on have been those initial comments from senators collins and flake. both saying they thought the report was thorough, flake saying he thought there was no additional corroboration in the report. that made republicans very happy. that made them think the threshold to get to that yes vote, maybe they'll reach. but it's worth noting, now that the senators have gone back and are reviewing against, this is going to be a process that will continue throughout the day. of note, not only do the senators want to read it themselves, they want to read specific interviews themselves. take a look at mark judge, the friend of brett kavanaugh, alleged to be in the room by christine blasey ford during the la alleged sexual assault, that's something the senators have been very interested in. we're told he sat down with the
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fbi more than three hours. i think it's important to note. you played the sound from senator feinstein, from senator mcconnell. you're going to hear in 10, 15 minutes from republicans who make very clear they believe the report clears brett kavanaugh, there's no corroboration. and democrats say the report didn't go nearly far enough. that's where they stand. for 95 senators, that's where they stand. it's all about zeroing on those five senators who are undecided. while there have been some positive signs, the reality is the votes and commitments are not there and likely wouldn't be until the senators finish doing their work throughout the course of this day. >> you are staying on top of it. meantime, the president opted not to stop to speak with reporters as he headed out to a campaign rally in minneapolis. sara westwood joins us at the white house. the white house may be sensitive to not rock the boat as senators
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are looking at this report. >> that's right, ana. right now the white house is trying to avoid scrutiny of the narrow scope of this fbi investigation by pointing the finger at the senate. white house officials are saying they only communicated to the fbi what senators said they wanted to learn from this background investigation. here's what white house spokesman rod shah had to say about the white house role in the process earlier this morning. >> any background investigation has to have some form of limiting scope, and this time it's always in these matters set by the white house but woo defer to the senate's request. the fbi has trained professionals. we have not micromanaged their process. they did follow-up interviews with people who could have seen firsthand accounts or be able to provide additional information. >> right now the only consensus on capitol hill is there was little new uncovered in this report. republicans would argue that was because these allegations were
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unfounded in the first place and democrats were saying it was because there were some constraints on the fbi, it was impossible for investigators to conduct a real investigation. the challenge for the white house at this point is those remaining undecided senators, the moderate republicans and democrats, they're not necessarily lawmakers who would want to hear from trump, who would benefit politically from the perception of having worked with trump on this nomination, so trump's utility is at this point pretty limited. but they're saying they've gotten their nominee that much closer to the position with the completion of this fbi report. >> thanks to you. as senators review this fbi back ground report on kavanaugh, here's the list of people interviewed by investigators. there are nine in total with cnn learning the identities of six. including the second woman to come out with an accusation,
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deborah ramirez, mark judge, leland keyser, patrick smyth, tim gaudette and chris garrett. joining us is gloria borger, michael allen and maureen o'connell, a former fbi special agent. gloria, a week ago vulnerable republicans were in a tough spot. does that change after today's report? >> reporter: well, i think it gives them a talking point. the talking point is that jeff flake requested this investigation, there was an investigation. there was no corroborating evidence here and, therefore, they're going to vote for judge kavanaugh. so i think it does give them a
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little bit of leeway here if they are inclined to vote for kavanaugh because they come from red states. it does give them that extra bit of push to say, you know what, you can do it, and there won't be hell to pay because from democrats as much because had at least this extra week. >> flake came out initially before this investigation, this additional probe, to say he was a yes on kavanaugh. we know where he was trying to get to. senator susan collins and lisa murkowski, however, the two republican women who we have seen at time break with this president, are they in the same boat in terms of the factors they may be weighing into their decision? >> no, i think they may be really very much in a different boat. first of all, neither one of them intends to retire this year. and, secondly, i think even murkowski and collins are in different boats. murkowski in alaska has got a
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sizable population of natives who don't like the way kavanaugh has ruled in a bunch of cases, and she's also got a huge issue with sexual assault in the state of alaska. so she may be weighing other issues in addition to roe v. wade, for example. collins very concerned about roe v. wade. she said she doesn't believe he will overturn roe. she's getting a lot of pressure from her more moderate states and moderate republicans in her state saying, you know, this investigation should have been broader than it was. and so both of these women are under a great deal of scrutiny back home but for different reasons. >> maureen, what are the senators actually looking at? describe this 302 report for us. >> so they're looking at what is essentially a narrative of the interviews that they've
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conducted and potentially narratives of other -- or a summary of some of the other background investigations that have been done previous to this one. the investigators will most probably write down the questions that were asked and the responses and whether or not things were corroborated or not corroborated or just the overall totality of the person's statement. i think a lot is going to be -- they're going to rely heavily on judges, mark judge's testimony. >> this was a supplemental background check, not a criminal investigation. how does that change things? >> may i say one thing first? the fbi 302 is a summary of interview. it is not a transcript. these things have not been recorded. you're going to get filtered through the fbi agent the summary of what the witness said to maureen's point.
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and these supplementals just that. they are intended to embellish on that that was investigated before. the key is the scope that they are allowed to inquire into. if they are narrowly circumscrib circumscribed, they will not find corroborative evidence because you can't find something you're not allowed to look for. what we don't know is what did white house counsel mcgahn grage to with grassley with respect to the scope. until we know that, it allows each side they found to corroboration and the or side to say of course because you weren't given breadth to look for it. so we're back in the armed camps that we were before this investigation. >> i think we can say while we don't know the exact scope because we haven't seen a document, but i think it's fair to say that they were not looking into his high school
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drinking, which would have then or could have then raised questions about the issue of whether he was telling the truth before the committee or not. it seeps to me that what they were really focused on were professor ford's charges and that was largely what they were investigating and ms. ramirez's charges. but this notion of drinking, et cetera, i don't think was part of their purview. >> everybody stay with us. we're coming to you next. i've got to get in a quick break. we continue to await this news conference with republican leaders talking about judge kavanaugh's nomination. we will bring that to you live as well. we are also monitoring anti-kavanaugh protests right now. this is outside the supreme court in d.c. we have a live report straight ahead. ♪
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welcome back. we are monitoring two developing stories right now, both related to supreme court nominee judge brett kavanaugh. on your left you see protesters gathering outside the supreme court. they do not want to see kavanaugh con fourmfirmed. on the right, we're waiting to hear from senate majority leaders. chuck grassley, the chairman there, will be bringing us their take on this new fbi report. i want to bring back our panel to continue our discussion. maureen, we do know this report is over a thousand pages long, we know the fbi interviewed nine people and interviewed people from the tip line. what's your assessment of how complete this investigation ended up being? >> i'm sure they checked off every box they needed to check
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off and that thousand pages have to do with testimony given to them and the corroborating or refuting the information that was given to them. so, for example, if mark judge gave them 400 different statements, they went out and cooperated whether or not those were truthful or lies. some of them are very ceaeasy t corroborate, some more difficult but they were given the amount of time they were given. that being said, the scope of the investigation was determined by the senate and they gave that to the fbi. the time constraints i think could have been much, much greater had this information been provided, you know, quietly and discretely to the fbi when it was received initially a couple months ago. >> we have this information just in. i want to get to you, gloria, to get your reaction. we're learning democratic senator heidi heitkamp of north
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dakota she's going to variety no. how significant is that? >> i think it's largely significant. we were talking about before the red state democrats, heidi heitkamp's most recent poll numbers have been terrible. she's around a dozen points behind her competitor. it was a much closer race before this whole kavanaugh controversy erupted. and i think heidi heitkamp came out today because she saw the poll numbers and saw the writing on the wall and did not want to fall on her sword on this nomination. so to me it's not much of a surprise that she did this today. >> we know the democrats had been pointing to who wasn't interviewed, what isn't in this report; namely, ford and kavanaugh. the fbi said they didn't need to interview them pause they already had several hours of
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testimony. does that reasoning make sense to you? >> no. it doesn't make sense to me because if you listen to the words of the special prosecutor that the republicans brought in to interview blasey ford during that structure, she said at the very end there's nothing that indicates that five-minute increments interrupted by other questioners is a coherent way to obtain a statement. i think she's right about that. so to say that her sort of process of acquiring information is a substitute for an interview as opposed to the written statement that blasey ford gave to open her testimony is correct. it is not comprehensive and i think the fbi would have been advised to speak to her and to judge kavanaugh in order to complete their review properly. >> we know professor ford's lawyers are upset about this process. they sent an fbi letter to the director, christopher wray, providing a list of people they believe should have been
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interviewed, not just for herself but they write in part, quote, several people could have offered more light, saying none were contacted, nor to our knowledge were a dozen other names we provided to the fbi who would have challenged judge kavanaugh. others were told about the alleged assault previously. does wray have the ability to act on something like this or are his hands tied? >> i believe that director wray would have the ability to do that. however, we're talking about this scope that was given to us and with regard to dr. ford's legal team, they're not the investigators in charge of this inquiry, and they're not trained investigators. so, you know, the bureau did what they do very, very well and they're exceptional at. now, they've got hours and hours and hours of testimony of both dr. ford and judge kavanaugh. and there's enough information
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there to either prove or disprove the allegations that dr. ford specifically made against judge kavanaugh. and that's -- the main construction of that -- of all of her testimony are the four other people that she says were in that room. so she took everybody single statement. they interviewed each of those people at length. people think if you only interview four people, you can't get that much information. if they interview each person for four hours and prove that what they're saying is true on almost every single level, that really means a lot, specifically when it was hard for dr. ford to answer a lot of these questions. you know, there were a lot of gaps in her stories and there were several inconsistencies. so when you're weighing that against four other people, that's pretty compelling evidence. >> however, brett kavanaugh also didn't answer every question thoroughly that was asked of him before the senate judiciary
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committee when he was testifying. would you have had any follow-up questions for him? >> well, i have enough information -- i would have had enough information and i trust the judgment of these seasoned investigators with the fbi. i know my colleagues, i know how they work. i would say that they were looking at everything he said and they were probably back stopping some of that as well. >> you see, but the problem is here that this was not a criminal process that moaureen speaking to is more normative for a criminal investigation. this was a background information where the parameter were set by the senate and white house. and christopher wray had his narrow mandate. they didn't go to timmy's house to see if it conformed, they didn't go to safeway to see if
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her temperatustimony was corrob. without knowing what the scope of their authority is, we cannot go as far as maureen is wanting us to go, i think. >> stay with us. i have to take another quick break as we await the republican leaders and their news conference set to begin any moment. stay with cnn. if you're turning 65, you're probably learning about medicare and supplemental insurance. medicare is great, but it doesn't cover everything -
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welcome back. as we await this public news conference, heidi heitkamp has just said she will vote no on confirming brett kavanaugh. she is one of two key red state democrats. i want to bring in cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cizzilla. now we know where she stands. the other person is joe manchin. he has got to go look at this report himself at 4:00. do you think it becomes more likely he votes with heitkamp? >> i still think no, though
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honestly, ana, if i had been up here at 1:35 than 2:35, i would have probably said heitkamp would have said no. there's polling in north korea that suggests twice as many people would be dissuaded for heitkamp if she voted against this as it would be if she voted for it. there's a lot of reasons to think she would vote for it, political reasons. my guess is she would say it was a principle vote. i think it likely she would lose reelection before this and likely she'll lose after this. manchin is popular. he is ahead in his race, whereas heitkamp has been behind. the biggest thing we folks on democrats so now we focus on a democrat, biggest thing to remember, collins, flake, murkowski.
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those three, if they are for kavanaugh, what they said, especially flake and collins -- >> then it doesn't matter. >> because that's 51 republicans and it doesn't matter what joe manchin does and it doesn't matter that heidi heitkamp is again it. >> is it surprising that she put herself out there not knowing where the others stood or do you think she knows something we don't? >> always possible she knows something i don't. let's leave it at that. i'm a little bit surprised in that i thought the democrats might wait to see where the three republicans went first. i never thought heidi heitkamp was going to be the 50th vote to confirm brett kavanaugh. same reason i don't think joe manchin will be the 50th vote. if they are the decider and two republicans say no and they need that democratic vote to confirm them, heidi heitkamp is not going to be that person, joe manchin is not going to be that person. the pressure from the democratic side to not be that person would
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be immense. could i see joe manchin being the 52nd vote? sure. >> when you look at the polling that's come out in the last couple of days, you do see the gap closing with republicans and democrats. >> no question. >> it seems to imply that republicans have a little bit of momentum right now. >> yes. remember, and this has been true since judges existed until today, the republican base cares deeply about the federal judiciary. the appeals court but especially the supreme court. these fights animate them period. now that this fight has turned into what they believe to be and donald trump a smear campaign, hatchet job, has made them even more engaged. there is a lot of polling that suggests republicans are more enthusiastic than they were two months ago. they are still on things like the generic ballot, they are still behind democrats. not as far as they have been but still behind.
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this is helping but it's not an equaling force. >> it may not have changed the game. moments from now, republican leaders holding a news conference on judge kavanaugh's nomination. again, we are monitoring and bring it to you live as soon as it happens. a once-in-five hundred year storm
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we're still waiting for republican leaders in the senate to speak on the fbi report. i have with me now republican strategy noelle and gora borger is staying with us as well. ladies, i'm glad to have you with us. first, catherine, if kavanaugh goes on to be confirmed, which party do you think it will help more. >> which party will it help more? >> in the sense of voter enthusiasm. >> i think what we see is this has fired up the republican base. the democrats had been energized before. where we have seen a change is
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amongst republicans. republicans feel like their guy has been unfairly maligned, despite the fact that there are these credible accusations. they feel like republicans have bent over backwards, which i disagree with of course, given that there was severely curtailed investigation under very abbreviated circumstances but that's not necessarily how republicans see the case. i think we will see if this thing goes through that republicans are going to be more fired up than they would have been in the absence of this fight. >> do you agree, noelle? >> i think they're fired up already. we've got some tight races, we've got senators on the verge of either deciding if this is going to be the most conservative court that they've ever had on the bench or not. with one of the things i looked at with the democrat joe manchin, he said about three hours ago, he's going to be looking at kavanaugh, his lifetime from 22 years old to 53 years old. >> hold your thought. let's listen in to mitch
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mcconnell. >> good afternoon, everyone. what we know for sure is the fbi report did not corroborate any of the allegations against judge kavanaugh. and the second thing we know for sure is that there's no way anything we did would satisfy the democrats. they've always got a reason why the goalposts need to be moved further down the field, farther down the field, and nothing we could do would satisfy them. they're dug in. you've seen it from the beginning. with that i want to turn it over to chairman grassley and members of the committee who i think have done a really outstanding job. >> thank you, mr. leader. before i say a few words, so i won't have to announce each
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person after he in this order will be hatch, cornyn, lee and tillis so please just come to the podium and say whatever you want to say and then we'll take questions. this is the 87th day, that's three weeks longer than the average of the last three or four nominees to the supreme court. so don't tell me we haven't spent enough time. also, i feel very good about where this nomination is right now. now, i don't say that from the standpoint of counting votes, i say that from the standpoint of the qualitificatioy if qualific candidate and the fact that those qualifications to be a supreme court justice based upon his 12 years on the d.c. circuit without anybody finding any fault with his qualifications to serve there, but that hasn't been talked about much.
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everything else. this person is very well qualified. a person that believes in the principles of due process, the presumption of innocence and readiness to serve are recognized. so judge kavanaugh should be confirmed on saturday. now, this started downhill very quickly on about july the 10th when schumer said that we're going to do everything we can to stop this nomination. and you can look back 87 days, and you can see that everything but whether he's qualified to serve has been brought up, brought up. i've tried to commit and i think i've carried out what i promised immediately, that we were going to have a fair and thorough process. we have had a fair and thorough
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process and i think that's best demonstrated by the fact that we -- the minute i read about who the person was and the feinstein letter, dr. ford, i read about her name in the paper. we got on it right away to provide the forum she wanted. and in turn we provided the same forum for kavanaugh. but what i've been dealing since july the 10th, the downhill slope that schumer's put us on is really dealing with a demolition derby. and they just about destroyed a good person to be on the supreme cou court. so hopefully we're 48 hours away from having a new person on the supreme court. >> i certainly endorse
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everything that the chairman of the committee has said. look, i'm disappointed in my democratic colleagues for what they're doing. there's no excuse for it, but they're doing it. i'm grateful to the fbi for their efforts in doing a thorough, very important investigation. many of us have said that if judge kavanaugh did what he's been accused of doing by some of the democrats and outside people, some outside people, he should be disqualified. but after investigations from both the committee and the fbi, we have found nothing, absolutely nothing to corroborate accusations against him. and we need to confirm him right away. this confirmation would be an victory for the senate as an institution. a reminder that the politics of
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baseless personal destruction has no place here. i think he's one of the best nominees i've seen in my 42 years in the united states senate. i apologize to him for the way he's been treated. yes, this is an important position, yes, and democrats have a right to feel very worried and upset about a republican getting this seat because they thought they had won the election. but that isn't the case. and our side has handled this i think with discretion, handling every problem that has come up. and, frankly, i hope we can just move forward and get this done. it's the right thing to do. judge kavanaugh's a great judge, he'll make a great justice on the united states supreme court and i intend to do everything i possibly can to make sure he gets there as quickly as we can.
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>> our friend, the senior senator from minnesota, said about this confirmation process, she said this is not normal. well, i agree with her because if this is the new normal, woe be to the senate and any nominee that would be subjected to the unacceptable character assassination that we've seen directed at this nominee in this case. if that's the new normal, i don't know who would want to serve and, frankly, i think people would be justified in losing any respect for the senate and the way it conducts itself during the confirmation process. so more is at stake than just this nomination and the supreme court. the senate itself is on trial here. a vote against judge kavanaugh tomorrow will be an endorsement of the mishandling of this confirmation process because of
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hiding relevant information that could have been examined on a bipartisan basis in a way that respected dr. ford's request for privacy and gotten to the bottom of this as we have attempted to do now with 20 million people watching on television. a vote against judge kavanaugh tomorrow will be a vote for abusing the confirmation process and a good person, and it will be a vote for the shameful intimidation tactics that have been employed as part of an orchestrated smear campaign. i agree that the fbi investigation, now they've talked to a total of 150 different people through the seven background investigations that judge kavanaugh has been through since 1993. no corroboration, no confirmation of any of these outrageous accusations that have
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been made against him. unfortunately this could have all been avoided, most of the embarrassment to dr. ford and the public circus-like atmosphere, if we had just -- if the ranking member had just made the allegations known in the regular process, it could have been investigated, as i said, in a way that would have protected her and her confidentiality. i've said before and i'll say it again, i believe that we should and we did treat dr. ford the same way i would want my daughters or my wife or my mother treated under similar circumstances. but we have to remember that judge kavanaugh's entitled to a fair process, too, and he has not been subjected to a fair process. anything but. so now is the time to quit all of these antics, these high
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jinx, the circus-like atmosphere and we'll do that tomorrow when we vote and saturday when we vote to finally confirm this good man to this important position. >> the process of reviewing the fbi reports that we received this morning has been exhaustive. it has been a collaborative process with my colleagues, it occurred in a classified environment because these were documents that we're not allowed to disclose to the public. but because we can review them in only one place, we reviewed them together and we stopped and we talked about each point made to make sure that we understood the message from each interview and each report. although that part of it by operation of law is not allowed to be public, i wand ted to giv you the assurance that we treated these documents with utmost seriousness, with a
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desire to do nothing more than search for the truth. just as we spent hours upon hours hearing testimony in open hearings before the public, we've also spent hours upon hour reviewing these documents in a classified environment. allegations of sexual misconduct are serious, of sexual assault, are of a most serious nature and always have to be treated with utmost seriousness. they have been in this case. give again, this is one who has been through seven background investigations in the course of the last three decades, with over 150 people interviewed with regard to him. this is a man of outstanding character who has lived an exemplary life. he and his family have been subjected to a lot of questioning, a lot of embarrassment, a lot of humiliation in recent weeks. that has been a difficult part of this process for him. but in the process of doing
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that, he's proven his character and his willingness and to be candid with the public. and even sharing facts that are at times uncomfortable. i'm convinced of this man's character, of his truthfulness, of his qualifications to serve on the supreme court of the united states. i wholeheartedly support his confirmation and look forward to voting for him in the coming hours. >> i agree with everything my colleagues have said. i also want to say that dr. ford, i firmly believe, experienced the traumatic event in her life. i just also believe that there is no evidence that we've seen through the fbi background checks, through the time that we've spent in the hearing to substantiate that these claims are properly alleged and directed toward judge kavanaugh. thousands of pages in that briefing room, senator lee and i were in that room together for an hour, we'd break for an hour and then we were all back for
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two hours. at the desk is also some 1,500 pages that document the prior fbi background investigations. and in none of those was there any reference and keep in mind this goes back 23, 24 years. this would have only been six or seven years after he was out of college. certainly if it was in recent memory, would you have seen some whiff or some suggestion, yet there was none. the last thing i'll leave you with is it appears as though since one of the attacks some of my colleagues have taken on the other side of the aisle are not working, they're not really able to substantiate the allegation, now they've moved to this narrative of the way he behaved in the hearing last week was somehow putting to question his judicial temperament. in the 31 hours that he was before the judiciary committee, i saw judge kavanaugh. he was extremely patient with unfair questions, being cut off.
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but he maintained his poise throughout those 32 hours with very few breaks. last week i saw brett kavanaugh. i want judging him as a judge, i was judging him as a human being who is having his life destroyed before his very eyes, having his 13-year-old daughter heart broken and having his wife issued death threats. and i would defy anyone in this room if they thought that they had gone through that same experience if you wouldn't have had those same emotions. yet over the course of that testimony, nearly two hours, i think he composed himself and did a good job in answering the questions and defending his good name. >> we're ready for questions. direct them to whoever you want to answer. >> senator grassley, can you explain how you came up with your list of who should be interviewed by the fbi? >> i think i'll let you do that because you were at the same meeting i was at.
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>> we did not come up with a list of people who the fbi should interview. the fbi was requested to conduct an investigation into any and all credible, current accusations of sexual misconduct by judge kavanaugh and the fbi made the decision as to who to interview. >> reporter: why not have the fbi interview people whom christine blasey ford confided in over the years? aren't those conversations usually key to -- >> they did. i think i answered your question. our request was to the white house. the white house then made the request of the fbi to conduct a supplemental investigation into current credible accusations of sexual misconduct. they did that. >> just to be clear, we did not give them a list of people and only these people they can speak with. we went back to have them go back and to those who issued statements, speak with them but
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a part of the protocol when you do a criminal background investigation, is there anyone else i should speak to. when they went through that, they identified others who hadn't put forth statements before. we a thsaw that in the record t morning. >> reporter: there's eight additional witnesses interview. and it was said there could be 20 witnesses interviewed, potentially people who could corroborate these accounts. why not green light the fbi, tell the white house to green light the fbi to interview these additional witnesses. >> the fbi has got i don't knte information they need to interview anybody they think is necessary. there has been nobody to interview corroborate the testimony of dr. ford. but the whole purpose of this is delay. it became clear early on when this allegation by dr. ford and
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handled against her wishes and without her consent, this is a search-and-destroy mission. this is not a search for the truth. we've done everything we can to treat both judge kavanaugh and dr. ford fairly and treat all allegations made seriously. that's been exhaustively studied by the fbi and judiciary committee. >> the president said that there shouldn't be even a little doubt, given the fact that the accusers are suggesting that there are additional people who could corroborate their stories. are you confident you have eliminated all the cloud of doubt? >> all of the people identified by ms. ramirez and dr. ford have testified contrary to the way miss ramirez and dr. ford have alleged. so the witnesses they have identified saying they were present at the event have all refuted their allegations. so i think that ought to settle
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it. >> reporter: on a slightly different note, within this evening noticeable at the committee meeting when christine blasey ford said it was not clear the committee would go to california to interview her. chairman grassley, you've already referred charges to the d.o.j. regarding uncorroborated charges. will the committee take any actions again the attorney or christine blasey ford? >> we don't prosecute. >> reporter: will you refer them? >> i don't know. i don't know if there's any reason to. what i'd like to do when we get all done because this is almost rock bottom, i would like to have the future mending things so we can do things in a collegial way that the united states senate ought to do and particularly when it comes to supreme court nominations. and you folks can have something to do with this. now, i would never use the word fake news. i consider you folks policemen for our democratic system of government, but i want to show
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you where some of you have bias. i've had demonstrators in my office for two weeks now, both for kavanaugh and against kavanaugh, and one time the people that were for kavanaugh wanted to be interviewed. and they said we only -- we're only interested in interviewing people against kavanaugh. now, that's a bias in a none th you should be proud of. >> reporter: dr. ford's legal team has sent a letter to the fbi and they're characterizing this investigation as a stain on the process on the fbi and on the american ideal of justice. what's your response to that? >> let the fbi do what the fbi is hired to do and keep political interference out of it. and my making a call to the fbi that you ought to do something is political interference, i made no call to the fbi since this whole process started a week ago and i'm not going to.
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i never had any conversation with anybody in the white house because i got confidence in the fbi. they go where the facts lead them. >> well, i think it's also important to consider the source. this is a legal team that when we formally communicated on more than one occasion that we would come to california and have a confidential interview and on her terms, from dr. ford to testify, she wasn't aware of that really makes me wonder the competency of the folks she has advising her. >> either the competency or the political bias that they have. >> reporter: how do you think the story is going to judge what christine blasey ford has done? >> well, of course none of us can have that perspective yet. but i hope what history documents is that what i said
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earlier, that we -- once we learned of her identity, once her name was leaked, contrary to her wishes and without her consent to the public and she was forced to tell her story not in a safe, confidential setting but in a circus-like atmosphere, i hope we did the best we could under those awful set of circumstances to treat her with respect and dignity and listen to her. but that doesn't mean that we forget our basic concepts of fair play and constitutional due process. that's why we tried to interview every witness that has any alleged knowledge of relevant facts and because we believe we're a country that believes in the presumption of innocence and due process of law. and what we know now is there is no corroboration, no one confirms the allegations of dr. ford, even people she identified as being present at the scene. so i believe we've done the best we could under these circumstances given the incredible mishandling of
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dr. ford's allegation by the ranking member on this judiciary committee to try to treat everybody fairly. but it's time now to vote, and that's what we're going to do starting tomorrow morning. >> anybody on the back row. >> i want to say something before you ask your question. as someone who actually tried cases in the federal court system and in front of two of the most notorious judges in the history of our country, and one case is in front of them by the way, i want you to know i take this stuff very, very seriously. and i don't know that i've ever seen anybody who would exceed judge kavanaugh as a judge in the federal court system. now, i personally resent what's been heaped upon him. it just isn't right, it isn't fair.
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it sends a message to everybody do you really want to take a federal judgeship in the future. now, this is just wrong. unfortunately there are some people who just don't care. they know that these judges on the supreme court are going to handle very, very difficult issues, and i'm sure that when the judge is there on the supreme court, he'll decide issues that will terribly disappoint republicans and maybe terribly disappoint democrats from time to time. but i know one thing, he's honest and he will decide cases based upon the law and he'll do a good job in doing it. that's one reason why we feel so deeply about this. and, frankly, i resent this business of taking on anybody that is from the republican party or the democratic party for a federal judgeship. it's really irritating, as though these people who have spent a lifetime getting a-b
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ratings, the highest ratings you can have from the chief rating service of attorneys in this country. i know a little bit about that. i had the highest rating you could possibly have both here, in utah and back in pennsylvania. these are important things to me. when i got out to practice law in utah, i was told by everybody that judge willis ritter was a curmudgeon you really had to watch. i got along well with judge ritter. he just wanted you to be confident when you went to court. on the other hand, he was bias, there's no doubt in my mind. this is an important position, and this man is qualified. and to put him through this type of a mess just because they are unhappy that donald trump had the right to appoint him is just plain