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tv   Senate Party Leader News Conferences  CSPAN  September 18, 2018 1:50pm-2:16pm EDT

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admissible in cour court. we believed hillary clinton had committed those crimes. the story needs to be told he used the m word to begin with, morality, i'm not talking about morality at all. i'm talking about the rule of law. i think that's what the special counsel statute was talking about and what janet reno was talking about when she said to the special division, three judges, three federal judges, star needs to investigate whether crimes against the rule of law including perjury and obstruction of justice. >> you can see the rest of this discussion online at we leave now and go live capitol hill as senate democrats are briefing reporters after party lunches.
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[inaudible] >> this is a shame to attempt to jamba through without giving anyone the time they need to investigate and pu ask questions that need to be asked. think about this from the doctor's perspective. if you think about this publicly on sunday. on monday night, republican scheduled the hearing without talking to her or confirming with her or even giving her a heads up. not only that, but right now republican leaders are trying to prevent any outside witnesses beyond doctor ford and judge cavanaugh from appearing which would be unprecedented and wrong. now some republicans are saying about will come a few days later. this is what happened in 1991 when the senate got information in the middle of a process, a hearing was jammed and just days later, i hoped we ha could do better 27
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years later. unfortunately they seem focused above all else on getting judge cavanaugh on the bench, whatever that takes, as quickly as possible. they should be focused on doing their jobs, making sure we are scrutinizing this nominee and not rushing him into a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. we need full, fair, robust investigation into these allegations of us serious criminal act and only when matters completed should we bring doctor ford in for testimony and judge cavanaugh in once again along with any other relevant witnesses. that brings me too my second point. i am a united states senator today because of the way anita hill was treated in 1991. i along with millions of other women watched in horror as an all-male judiciary committee
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interrogated, prorated and maligned a woman who was brave enough to speak up about an issue. it would've been far easier for her personally to remain silent on. some of them are still on this committee today. they called anita hill a liar. they said she was coached by special interest groups, they looked for ways to blame her, impugn her, and attack her. it was disgusting and motivated women to vote and run for office and fight for change. not a whole lot has changed since 1991. the "me too" movement has sparked a greater awareness of the issues of sexual harassment and assault. men and women across the country now understand more than ever that women give up so much when they come forward and that the presumption should be that they are telling the truth. a whole lot has not changed. republican side of the judiciary committee looks
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exactly as the committee did an 1991. those who led the attack are already saying doctor ford may be. [inaudible] and republican media are already trying to smear here. i'm here to say once again, women are watching. we are not going to allow that to happen again. if republicans attack doctor ford and this turns into anything like we thought back in 1991, women across the country will rise up and make their voices heard. i'm hoping that does not happen. i'm hoping republican treat doctor ford fairly, work with us to investigate this activation fully and don't try
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to jam this nominee through. this is a test for the united date senate. it's how we handle accusations of sexual harassment and assault. i am hoping the senate passes i it. with that, let me turn it over to senator geraldo. >> thank you, senator murray. i'm glad to stand here with the rest of my colleagues to point out that not only do women like doctor ford need to be heard, but they need to be believed. they need to be believed. her account is very credible. also, the fact that she hardly needs to open herself to the kind of attacks that are already come her way. that just adds to her credibility. i believe her. i just have lunch with some people today who told me that one person told me his sister had been the subject of a
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sexual harassment situation and a lot of times it becomes a he said, she said. he said it was really important to hear you, me, say that i believe doctor ford. it's shocking, but not surprising that president trump is not okay in fbi investigation so that there be some attempt at cooperation. what does this mean if the entire array of the power of the white house is behind judge cavanaugh, but there's not even an fbi investigation that the president can authorize, but he won't, which is not surprising. this whole thing, you have the power the white house, cavanaugh over here, and this totally disadvantages doctor ford, not only does it disadvantaged her, but it victimizes her. haven't we been here before? clarence thomas hearing? just as my colleague called on
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the women to pay attention and rise up, i expect all of us, the enlightened men in our country, because there must be millions of men in this country who are enlightened but will also rise up to say, we cannot continue the victimization of the smearing of someone like doctor ford. she is under no obligation to continue this nomination on the facts track and to participate in a smear campaign. basically, a railroad job. fred this is what they are trying to do with doctor ford. it's time for all of us to say, and this kind of treatment. people who come forward, when they don't need to to talk about very painful parts of their life experiences because
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they truly care. i want to thank her and i commend her courage i believe her. >> i believe doctor ford, i believe the survivor, there is every reason to believe her. she has come forward courageously and bravely knowing she would face a nightmare of hostile and vicious scrutiny and challenge. there are plenty of reasons to disbelieve judge cavanaugh after his evasive and seemingly misleading testimony.
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the leadership has so far disrespected their survivor. they have summoned her to a hearing without consulting her as to the date, without even apparently contacting her directly. she may well have learned about it through the press. they have accorded her not even the minimal respect that any prosecutor would give a survivor in a criminal proceeding or investigation. i will just tell you, as a former united states attorney and attorney general of my state and someone who is familiar with the way prosecutors work, there is no way that any prosecutor would put on a witness stand a crime victim without doing a full
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investigation. it would be a disservice to the survivor, to fairness and justice. that's what republicans are doing here. they have no interest in the truth or justice, they simply want to ram through this nomination. this proceeding is more like something out of russia in the united states of america. it is unworthy of the united states tenant. there is no way we should have this hearing without having a full, fair investigation. there is no way to fairly have this hearing without corroborating witnesses coming forward as well. what's been proposed is simply a sham and a mockery of a full senate hearing. i've written a letter today joined by senator lahey and
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senator jones to the white house counsel, asking him when he first knew about these allegations, what he did to investigate them and what other allegations there may be of a similar nature against judge cavanaugh. he has played a unique role in choosing and bedding judicial nominees. he was the one who recommended rob porter to his position as staff secretary. despite many people knowing about his domestic violence issues, we want to know when he knew about these allegations and what he did to investigate them. second, we want to know when the letter, signed by 65 of judge cavanaugh former schoolmates was first darted. : :
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>> from the anita hill proceeding of 27 years ago. that a full investigation is necessary. that corroborating witnesses are essential. but most important, that survivors deserve basic respect. which right now, the republican leadership is feeling to give doctor ford. thank you. >> thank you very much senator murray. the republicans interest in speedy supreme court nomination processes is novel and new. they were not in a hurry when
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justice scalia passed away. they were not in a hurry to move that process forward. i think we have to remember that ultimately, it's not necessarily our job to be judge and jury over these kinds of serious, serious allegations. we ultimately are here to represent the views of our constituents. of the people we serve back home. so this rush job to bring a hearing with very few witnesses and no independent determination of fact, is an insult to the american people. not just to the traditions and the history of the senate. it gives no time for the american people to come to a conclusion as to the facts and give their own recommendation to their member of the senate.
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no matter how rigorously president trump attacks the fbi and the department of justice, the american people still have faith in the fbi's impartiality. they want the fbi to do their due diligence and present their findings. not just to the senate but to the american public as well. there's no reason to move this process is fast. there's no reason not to make sure that the senate and the american people don't get a full picture of the allegations that are being presented. republicans have come recently to the view that there is no time to waste in pushing supreme court nominations through the process. i hope they remember their disposition from two years ago. >> doctor christine ford is a courageous woman. her account is credible and i
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believe her. what the republicans are doing to her today is exactly why so many survivors do not come forward. she reluctantly told her story for the first time to a reporter before judge brett kavanaugh was named. she told her therapist five years ago. she told a friend last year. she passed a polygraph test and she has ever thing to lose. because of her bravery in coming forward. we've already seen the consequences to her life. as my colleagues have said, we must learn the lessons from 27 years ago. we must learn the lessons from what happened to anita hill by the senate. we have to determine whether judge kavanaugh has the fitness and the moral character to serve in the highest court in the land and make decisions that will affect millions of women's lives. so where do we go from here?
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we should not be rushing to judgment with a sham hearing on monday that is designed solely to create a he said, she said atmosphere. assassinating her character. why rush to judgment to fit in arbitrary political agenda? the american people deserve the facts about judge kavanaugh. they deserve the facts about his personal character. there are corroborating witnesses and they too must be called including mark judge was allegedly in the room. and the therapist who counseled doctor ford in 2012. and other expert witnesses would be an expert in sexual assault and crime, trauma and ptsd associated with the survivor being is shameful that the senate judiciary committee plans on repeating the ugly piece of history by doing to doctor ford exactly what they did to anita hill by putting her on the stand alone. would've they are afraid of getting, are they afraid of the
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truth? second, before any hearing moves forward as my colleagues have so acutely said, the fbi has to be allowed to complete their background check. this is a background check they do for all nominees. the previous background check did not have this information to look at. it's shameful the white house department of justice hasn't instructed them to do that yet at this point. so we need a thorough, independent investigation. free of partisan politics. to inform the questions and allow for a fair hearing of the facts. anything less than that will put a permanent cloud over this process that will not be removed. i say to my republican colleagues, do not rush this process. we must get it right. a sham hearing would send a clear message that women are not valued in this country. to refuse to treat this properly and try to confirm judge kavanaugh at any cost tells women that once again they are not important and are
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not to be believed. that you are worth less than a man's promotion. this isn't just about one incident, it's about whether we will send more women that the shadows would have experienced sexual trauma. this is not who we are as a nation. this is not for striving to be as a nation. we have come a long way since 1991 and this country deserves much better. >> thank you. i will take questions i want to say one more thing. as someone was standing in front of you because of how the ending the hill hearings were handled. there are lessons to be learned. when the consequences of how that was handled is it let the generation of women, 27 years ago, with the knowledge that if they come forward. they will not be taken seriously. they will be berated and not be able to get through with a fair hearing. let us not have that be this lesson this time. let the senate show how you can handle this fairly and justly
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with a hearing that is fair to the person has come forward so that we send a message right now. the united states senate, that women can come forward when they been sexually assaulted and will not be berated but will be treated fairly. that is the lesson i want my two young granddaughters to see out of this today. >>. [inaudible question] >> i have not talked to her. what i believe is for us as united states senate, to send the message she will be treated fairly. it's my colleagues were all lawyers and i am not, have said, in order to do that we need a thorough investigation. so that senators on the committee have the information they need in order to ask the questions fairly of both of them.
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>>. [inaudible question] >> this is a woman who was reticent to come forward and we all understand why. every one of us understands why. she finally came forward on sunday. on monday, the chairman of the committee announced a hearing in a week without consulting her. to be treated fairly, she should have at least been asked if she was available that day and he should have said they will have an investigation. in order for her to know should be treated fairly. i cannot answer for her that i have not talked to her but i certainly believe that would have been a fair way to handle this that did not occur. >>. [inaudible question] >> i will ask members of the committee who are here who can answer that better than i can.
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>> you know, i will speak for myself. this survivor is a woman of intense and incredible courage. if she's at this hearing, i want to be there. to make sure that some rules of fairness are followed. that her courage is matched by our fight to protect her against abuse. and unfairness. that is expectable in light of how it's been scheduled and planned. and, you know, the idea that the burden is put on her to justify reluctance to appear before the committee. with no notice.
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little opportunity to prepare. without even an interview. by the fbi. she hasn't been interviewed at the federal bureau of investigation in connection with a serious allegation against a nominee for the united states supreme court that is credible and real. the burden should be on the committee to accommodate her schedule. but most important, to do an investigation. to some that finding, otherwise we will have a kangaroo court and a mock and a charade. >> i think we all know when something is unfair. this smells we all know this. let's face it. this is so unfair to her. what really bothers me and gets meso angry is , that the white house is victimizing this
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person. why don't we get that out there. why should we participate in a victimization of someone with the courage to come forward. and she is under no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family. that is why i am very clear about what needs to happen. at the same time, if the republicans go forward with their plans to railroad this and to fast-track this as they have so many other nominations. i expect the members of the press to talk about how unfair this all is. i don't think that's editorializing, that's facts. i expect that from you guys. >> you are one of four women on the committee but how does that impact the proceedings if at all? >> of course it helps there are women on that committee. but i expect the men in this country and the men in this committee, believe me, we all signed on to this letter to
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demand an fbi investigation. guess who's perpetuating this action? it's a man in this country. i want to say to them in, just shut up and step up. do the right thing for a change. i'm upset by this. you have a second question? >> what if anything could judge kavanaugh say that would convince you that he didn't do what he's accused of? >> he is thinking didn't do it. what else can he say? i set that aside and i look at what doctor fordis saying . we've all said, she makes a very credible claim. she's already undergone a number of - - and we draw our conclusions. there are a lot of us that have been a politics a long time as i have. i know after having done some
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of the research and read about how difficult it is in sexual harassment cases. most of the time, women don't come forward. because why? as my colleague mentioned, they are very often not believed. we have to create an environment where women can come forward and be heard and be listened to. the proper channels in the proper investigation should occur. that's certainly not happening here. >>. [inaudible question] >> we want all of this to be out in the open, under oath. why do they think this is something they can just push under the rug?let's just have a call with certain staff. not all the staff. this is so important. we are talking about a nominee to the supreme court. >>


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