WASHINGTON — Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on Sept. 16 regarding the sexual assault allegation against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee:
“It took a lot of courage for Christine Blasey Ford to come forward to share her story of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh. Her story is very credible and I believe her.
“As I said during the hearing, this is why the #MeToo movement is so important, because often in these situations, there is an environment where people see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. That is what we have to change.
“This development is yet another reason not to rush Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. The committee should postpone this week’s vote.”
Regarding the backlash against Ford since going public with her story, Hirono tweeted: “The entire array of the White House’s power is behind Judge Kavanaugh. It not only places Dr. Blasey Ford at a disadvantage, it victimizes her. No survivor of sexual assault should be subjected to death threats and concern about the safety of their family.
“We will not stand for the continued victimization and smearing of Dr. Blasey Ford. All of us must work to end this kind of treatment of survivors who bravely share their experiences.”
The committee is scheduled to hear testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford on Monday, but Ford has said through her attorneys that the FBI should investigate the incident — which allegedly occurred when she and Kavanaugh were in high school — before a hearing is held. GOP leaders have indicated that they are unwilling to postpone the hearing.
Trump has expressed support for Kavanaugh, who has “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegation.
Hirono, one of four women on the committee, told CNN, “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.”
She cited what happened to Anita Hill in 1991 when she accused then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Her credibility was questioned and Thomas was ultimately confirmed.
The senator also called for Kavanaugh’s former classmate Mark Judge, who was allegedly involved in the assault, to be subpoenaed by the committee. Judge has denied the incident occurred and refused to testify.
Hirono told reporters on Tuesday, “I think we all know when something is not fair, when something smells. This is so patently not fair to her and what really bothers me and gets me so angry [is]that the White House is victimizing this person. Why don’t we get that out there? Why should we participate in the victimization of someone who has 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.
“But at the same time if the Republicans go forward with their plan to railroad this fast-track as they have so many other nominations, I expect the members of the press to talk about how unfair that is. I don’t think that is editorializing, that is laying out the facts. I expect that from you guys …
“But really, 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.”