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Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford Hearing. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired September 27, 2018 - 16:30   ET



SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT.: Is that you that he's talking about?

BRETT KAVANAUGH: Senator, Mark Judge was...

LEAHY: To your knowledge, is that you that he's talking about?

KAVANAUGH: I'll explain it if you let me.

LEAHY: Proceed, please.

KAVANAUGH: Mark Judge was a friend of ours in high school who developed a very serious drinking problem, an addiction problem that lasted decades and was very difficult for him to escape from.

And he nearly died. And then developed -- then he had leukemia as well, on top of it.

Now, as part of his therapy -- or part of his coming to grips with sobriety, he wrote a book that is a fictionalized book and an account....


KAVANAUGH: I think he picked out names of friends of ours to throw them in as kind of close to what -- for characters in the book. So, you know, we can sit here...

LEAHY: So you don't know -- you don't know whether that's you or not?

KAVANAUGH: ... we can sit here and you (ph) like (ph), make -- make fun of some guy who has an addiction.

LEAHY: I'm not making...


KAVANAUGH: I don't think that really makes -- is really good...

LEAHY: ... Judge Kavanaugh, I'm trying to get a straight answer from you under oath. Are you Bart (ph) Kavanaugh that he's referring to, yes or no? That's it (ph)...

KAVANAUGH: You'd have to ask him. LEAHY: Well, I agree with you there. And that's why I wish that the

chairman had him here under oath.

Now, you've talked about your yearbook. In your yearbook, you talked about drinking and sexual exploits, did you not?

KAVANAUGH: Senator, let me -- let me take a step back and explain high school. I was number one in the class...

LEAHY: And I -- and I thought (ph)...

KAVANAUGH: ... freshman -- no, no, no, no, no.

LEAHY: I thought we were in the Senate (ph)...

KAVANAUGH: You've got this all -- I'm going to -- I'm going to talk about my high school...

LEAHY: ... the (ph) whole (ph) question (ph).

I thought we were in the Senate (ph) filibuster (ph).

KAVANAUGH: ... no, no.

GRASSLEY: Let him answer.

KAVANAUGH: I'm going to talk about my high school record, if you're going to sit here and mock me.

GRASSLEY: We -- we were -- I think we were all very fair to Dr. Ford. Shouldn't we be just as fair to Judge Kavanaugh?


KAVANAUGH: I busted my butt in academics. I always tried to do the best I could. As I recall, I finished one in the class, first in -- you know, freshman and junior year, right at the top with Steve (ph) Clark (ph) and Eddie (ph) (inaudible), we were always kind of in the mix.

I -- I played sports. I was captain of the varsity basketball team. I was wide receiver and defensive back on the football team. I ran track in the spring of '82 to try to get faster. I did my service projects at the school, which involved going to the soup kitchen downtown -- let me finish -- and going to tutor intellectually disabled kids at the Rockville Library.

With the church -- and, yes, we got together with our friends.

LEAHY: Does this reflect what you are? Does this yearbook reflect your...


LEAHY: ... focus on academics and your respect for women? That's easy. Yes or no. You don't have to filibuster the answer. Does it reflect your focus on academics...


KAVANAUGH: I already said the yearbook -- in my opening statement. The yearbook, obviously...

GRASSLEY: Judge? Just wait a minute. He's asked the question. I'll give you time to answer it.

KAVANAUGH: The -- the yearbook, as I said in my opening statement, was something where the students and editors made a decision to treat some of it as farce and some of as exaggeration, some of it celebrating things that don't reflect the things that were really the central part of our school.

Yes, we went to parties, though. Yes, of course, we went to parties and the yearbook page describes that and kind of makes fun of it. And as a -- you know, if we want to sit here and talk about whether a Supreme Court nomination should be based on a high school yearbook page, I think that's taken us to a new level of absurdity.

LEAHY: Ms. Mitchell? Well, we got a filibuster but not a single answer.

GRASSLEY: Ms. Mitchell?

MITCHELL: Judge, do you still have your calendar -- calendars there?


MITCHELL: I would like you to look at the July 1st entry.


MITCHELL: The entry says -- and I quote -- "Go to Timmy's (ph) for skis (ph) with Judge (ph), Tom (ph), P.J. (ph), Bernie (ph) and Squee (ph)"?

KAVANAUGH: Squee. That's a nick...

MITCHELL: What does...

KAVANAUGH: ... that's a nickname.

MITCHELL: OK. To what does this refer, and to whom?

KAVANAUGH: So first, says "Tobin's (ph) house workout". So that's one of the football workouts that we would have -- that Dr. (inaudible) would run for guys on the football team during the summer.

So we would be there -- that's usually 6:00 to 8:00 or so, kind of -- until near dark. And then it looks like we went over to Timmy's -- you want to know their last names too? I'm happy to do it.


MITCHELL: If you could just identify, is -- is "Judge," Mark Judge?


MITCHELL: And is "P.J.," P.J. Smith?


So -- all right. It's Tim Gaudette (ph), Mark Judge, Tom Caine (ph), P.J. Smith, Bernie McCarthy (ph), Chris Garrett (ph).

MITCHELL: Chris Garrett is Squee?


MITCHELL: Did you in your calendar routinely document social gatherings like house parties or gatherings of friends in your calendar?

KAVANAUGH: Yes. It -- it certainly appears that way, that's what I was doing in the summer of 1982. And you can see that reflected on several of the -- several of the entries.

MITCHELL: If a gathering like Dr. Ford has described had occurred, would you have documented that?

KAVANAUGH: Yes, because I documented everything of those kinds of events, even small get-togethers. August 7th is another good example where I documented a small get-together that summer, so yes.

MITCHELL: August 7th. Could you read that?

KAVANAUGH: I think that's go to Becky's, Matt, Denise, Lori, Jenny (ph).

MITCHELL: Have you reviewed every entry that is in these calendars of May, June, July and August of 1982?


MITCHELL: Is there anything that could even remotely fit what we're talking about, in terms of Dr. Ford's allegations?


MITCHELL: As a lawyer and a judge, are you -- we've talked about the FBI. Are you aware that this type of offense would actually be investigated by local police?

KAVANAUGH: Yes, I mentioned Montgomery County Police earlier. Yes.

MITCHELL: OK. Are you aware that in Maryland, there is no statute of limitations that would prohibit you being charged, even if this happened in 1982?

KAVANAUGH: That's my understanding.

MITCHELL: Have you, at any time, been contacted by any members of local police agencies regarding this matter?

KAVANAUGH: No, ma'am.

MITCHELL: Prior to your nomination for Supreme Court, you've talked about all of the female clerks you've had, and the women that you've worked with. I'm not just talking about them; I'm talking about globally. Have you ever been accused, either formally or informally, of unwanted sexual behavior?


MITCHELL: And when I say informally, I mean just a -- a female complains. It doesn't have to be to anybody else but you.


MITCHELL: Since Dr. Ford's allegation was made public, how many times have you been interviewed by the committee?

KAVANAUGH: It's -- it's been a -- three or four. I'm -- I'm trying to remember now. It's -- it's been several times. Each of these new things, absurd as they are, we'd get on the phone and kind of go through them.

MITCHELL: So have you submitted to interviews specifically about Dr. Ford's allegation?


MITCHELL: And what about Deborah Ramirez's allegation...


MITCHELL: ... that you waved your penis in front of her?


MITCHELL: What about Julie Swetnick's allegation that you repeatedly engaged in drugging and gang-raping, or allowing women to be gang- raped?

KAVANAUGH: Yes. Yes, I've been interviewed about it.

MITCHELL: Were your answers to my questions today consistent with the answers that you gave to the committee in these various interviews?

KAVANAUGH: Yes, ma'am.

MITCHELL: OK. I see I'm out of time.

GRASSLEY: Senator Durbin?

DURBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Judge Kavanaugh, earlier today, Dr. Christine Ford sat in that same chair, and under oath, she said clearly and unequivocally that she was a victim of sexual assault at your hands. She answered our questions directly, and she didn't flinch at the prospect of submitting herself to an FBI investigation of these charges. We know, and I'm sure she's been advised by her attorneys, that a person lying to the FBI can face criminal prosecution.

You have clearly and unequivocally denied that you assaulted Dr. Ford. With that statement, you must believe that there is no credible evidence or any credible witness that could prove otherwise.

You started off with an impassioned statement at the beginning, and I can imagine, try to imagine what you have been through, and your family's been through, and I'm sure I wouldn't get close to it. But it was an impassioned...


(UNKNOWN): OK. I'm sure you wouldn't.

DURBIN: I'm sure I wouldn't. It's an impassioned statement. And in the course of it, you said, "I welcome any kind of investigation." I quote you. I welcome any kind of investigation. I've got a suggestion for you: right now, turn to your left in the front row to Don McGahn, counsel to President Donald Trump. Ask him to suspend this hearing and nomination process until the FBI completes its investigation of the charges made by Dr. Ford and others, and goes to bring the witnesses forward, and provides that information to this hearing. I am sure that the chairman at that point will understand that that is a reasonable request to finally put to rest these charges, if they are false, or to prove them if they are not.

You spent two years in the White House office that approved judicial nominees. You turned to the FBI over, and over, and over again for their work. Let's bring them in here and now. Turn to Don McGahn, and tell him it's time to get this done. An FBI investigation is the only way to answer some of these questions.

(UNKNOWN): Senator...

GRASSLEY: Stop the -- stop the clock.

This committee is -- is running this hearing, not the White House, not Don McGahn, not even you as a nominee. We're -- we are here today because Dr. Ford asked for an opportunity to hear. I know you did too, as well, in fact, maybe even before she did.

We're here because people wanted to be heard from charges that they all thought were unfair, or activities like sexual assault was unfair. So I want to assure Senator Durbin, regardless of what you say to Senator Don McGahn, we're not suspending this hearing.

Proceed to answer the question, or so whatever -- or to -- if the gentleman...

DURBIN: I -- I'll just say this: If you, Judge Kavanaugh, turned to Don McGahn and to this committee and say, "For the sake of my reputation, my family name, and to get to the bottom of the truth of this, I am not going to stay -- be an obstacle to an FBI investigation," I would hope that all the members of the committee would join me in saying, "We're going to abide by your witch -- wishes, and we will have that investigation."

KAVANAUGH: I -- I welcome whatever the committee wants to do, because I'm telling the truth.

DURBIN: I want to know what you want to do.

KAVANAUGH: I -- I'm telling the truth.

DURBIN: I want to know what you want to do, Judge.

KAVANAUGH: I'm innocent. I'm innocent of this charge.

DURBIN: Then you're prepared for an FBI investigator...

KAVANAUGH: They don't reach conclusions. You reach the conclusion, Senator.

DURBIN: No, but they do investigate questions.

KAVANAUGH: I'm -- I'm innocent.

DURBIN: And you can't have it both ways, Judge. You can't say here at the beginning...

KAVANAUGH: I wanted a hearing.

DURBIN: (inaudible) your moment.

KAVANAUGH: Look, this thing...

DURBIN: I welcome any kind of investigation, and then walk away from this.

KAVANAUGH: This thing was sprung on me -- this thing was sprung at the last minute after being held by staff. You know...

DURBIN: Judge, if there is no truth to...

KAVANAUGH: And I called for a -- I called for a hearing immediately.

DURBIN: If there is no truth to her charges, the FBI investigation will show that. Are you afraid that they might not?

GRASSLEY: Come on. Gee, whiz.

KAVANAUGH: The FBI does not reach -- you know. You know this is -- you know that's a phony question...

DURBIN: Well, here...

KAVANAUGH: ... because the FBI doesn't reach conclusions.

DURBIN: So let's -- let's just... KAVANAUGH: They just provide the 302s. 302s, so I can explain to people who don't know what that is, they just going and do what you're doing: ask questions and then type up a report. They don't reach the bottom line conclusion. You...

DURBIN: This morning -- this morning, I asked Dr. Ford, I asked her about this incident where she ran into Mark Judge in Safeway, and she said, "Sure, I remember it." Six or eight weeks after this occurrence.

Well, someone at The Washington Post went in and took a look at Mr. Judge's book and has been able to -- the one that he wrote about his addiction and his alcoholism -- and they have narrowed it down, what they think was a period of time six or eight weeks after the event. And he would have been working at the Safeway at that point.

So the point I'm getting to is we at least can connect some dots here and get some information. Why would you resist that kind...

KAVANAUGH: Here's some (ph) dots.

DURBIN: ... of investigation? Why would you resist that kind of investigation?

KAVANAUGH: Senator, I -- I welcome -- I wanted the hearing last week.

DURBIN: I'm asking about the FBI investigation.

KAVANAUGH: They're -- the committee figures out how to ask the questions, I'll do whatever. I've been on the phone multiple times with committee counsel. I'll talk to...

DURBIN: Judge Kavanaugh, will you support an FBI investigation...

KAVANAUGH: ... I'll do -- I'll...

DURBIN: ... right now?

KAVANAUGH: ... I -- I will do whatever the committee wants to...

DURBIN: Personally, do you think that's the best thing for us to do? You won't answer?

KAVANAUGH: ... Look, senator, I -- I've -- I've -- I've said I wanted a hearing and I'd said I was welcome (ph) anything. I'm innocent. This thing was held -- held when it could have been presented in the ordinary way. It could have been held and handled confidentially at first, which was what Dr. Ford's wishes were as I understand it. It wouldn't have caused this -- like, destroyed my family like this -- this effort has.


DURBIN: I think an FBI investigation will help all of us on both sides of the issue.

GRASSLEY: Senator Graham asked for the floor. But before he does, it seems to me that if you want to know something, you've got the witness right here to -- to ask him. And secondly, if you want an FBI report, you can ask for it yourself. I've asked for FBI reports in the past, in the 38 years I've been in the Senate.

Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Are you aware that at 9:23 on the night of July the 9th, the day you were nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump, Senator Schumer said 23-minutes after your nomination, "I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have, I have (sic) a bipartisan -- and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less." Well, if you weren't aware of it, you are now.

Did you meet with Senator Dianne Feinstein on August 20th?

KAVANAUGH: I did meet with Senator Feinstein...

GRAHAM: Did you know that her staff had already recommended a lawyer to Dr. Ford?

KAVANAUGH: ... I did not know that.

GRAHAM: Did you know that her and her staff had this -- allegations for over 20 days?

KAVANAUGH: I did not know that at the time.

GRAHAM: If you wanted a FBI investigation, you could have come to us. What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020. You've said that, not me. You've got nothing to apologize for.

When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell them that Lindsey said hello because I voted for them. I would never do to them what you've done to this guy. This is the most unethical sham since I've been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you've done to this guy.

Are you a gang rapist?


GRAHAM: I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through.

Boy, you all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it. You had no intention of protecting Dr. Ford; none.

She's as much of a victim as you are. God, I hate to say it because these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this, you're looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. Do you consider this a job interview?

KAVANAUGH: If (ph) the advice and consent role is like a job interview. GRAHAM: Do you consider that you've been through a job interview?

KAVANAUGH: I've been through a process of advice and consent under the Constitution, which...

GRAHAM: Would you say you've been through hell?

KAVANAUGH: I -- I've been through hell and then some.

GRAHAM: This is not a job interview.


GRAHAM: This is hell.

KAVANAUGH: This -- this...

GRAHAM: This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap. Your high school yearbook -- you have interacted with professional women all your life, not one accusation.

You're supposed to be Bill Cosby when you're a junior and senior in high school. And all of a sudden, you got over it. It's been my understanding that if you drug women and rape them for two years in high school, you probably don't stop.

Here's my understanding, if you lived a good life people would recognize it, like the American Bar Association has, the gold standard. His integrity is absolutely unquestioned. He is the very circumspect in his personal conduct, harbors no biases or prejudices. He's entirely ethical, is a really decent person. He is warm, friendly, unassuming. He's the nicest person -- the ABA.

The one thing I can tell you should be proud of -- Ashley, you should be proud of this -- that you raised a daughter who had the good character to pray for Dr. Ford.

To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics. You want this seat? I hope you never get it.

I hope you're on the Supreme Court, that's exactly where you should be. And I hope that the American people will see through this charade. And I wish you well. And I intend to vote for you and I hope everybody who's fair-minded will.

GRASSLEY: Senator Whitehouse.

[16:50:00] WHITEHOUSE: Should we let things settle a little bit after that?

GRASSLEY: If you want to -- we'll take a 60-second break.

WHITEHOUSE: No, I'm good.

GRASSLEY: OK. Go ahead. WHITEHOUSE: I'm good.

One of the reasons, Mr. Kavanaugh, that we are looking at the yearbook is that it is relatively consistent in time with the events at issue here and because it appears to be your words. Is it, in fact, your words on your yearbook page?

KAVANAUGH: We -- we submitted things to the editors and I believe they took them. I don't know if they changed things or not, but.

WHITEHOUSE: You're not aware of any changes? As far as you know...

KAVANAUGH: I don't -- I'm not aware one way...

WHITEHOUSE: ... these are your words?

KAVANAUGH: ... I'm not aware one way or the other, but I'm not going to sit here and contest that. Have at it, if you want to go through my yearbook.

WHITEHOUSE: Yes, I'm -- I'm actually interested. You know, lawyers should be working off of common terms and understand the words that we're using. I think that's a pretty basic principle among lawyers, wouldn't you agree?

KAVANAUGH: It is. If you're worried about my yearbook, have at, senator.

WHITEHOUSE: Let's look at, "Beach Week Ralph Club -- Biggest Contributor," what does the word Ralph mean in that?

KAVANAUGH: That probably refers to throwing up. I'm known to have a weak stomach and I always have. In fact, the last time I was here, you asked me about having ketchup on spaghetti. I always have had a weak stomach.

DURBIN: I don't know that I asked about ketchup on spaghetti, but...

KAVANAUGH: You -- you didn't, someone did. And...


KAVANAUGH: ... this is well-known. Anyone who's known me, like a lot of these people behind me -- known me my whole life -- know, you know. I got a weak stomach, whether it's with beer or with spicy food or anything.

WHITEHOUSE: So the vomiting that you reference in the Ralph Club reference, related to the consumption of alcohol?

KAVANAUGH: Senator, I was at the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school. Captain of the varsity basketball team. Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School. Worked my tail off.

WHITEHOUSE: And did the world "ralph" you used in your yearbook... (CROSSTALK)

KAVANAUGH: I already -- I already answered...

WHITEHOUSE: ... refer (ph) to alcohol?

KAVANAUGH: ... the question. If you're...

WHITEHOUSE: Did it relate to alcohol? You haven't answered that.

KAVANAUGH: I like beer. I like beer. I don't know if you do...


KAVANAUGH: ... do you like beer, Senator, or not?

WHITEHOUSE: Um, next...

KAVANAUGH: What do you like to drink?

WHITEHOUSE: Next one is...

KAVANAUGH: Senator, what do you like to drink?

WHITEHOUSE: ... Judge, have you -- I don't know if it's "boufed" or "boofed" -- how do you pronounce that?

KAVANAUGH: That refers to flatulence. We were 16.


WHITEHOUSE: OK. And so when your friend Mark Judge said the same -- put the same thing in his yearbook page back to you, he had the same meaning? It was flatulence?

KAVANAUGH: I don't know what he did, but that's my recollection. We want to talk about flatulence at age 16 on a yearbook page, I'm -- I'm game.

WHITEHOUSE: You mentioned, I think, the Renate or Renata -- I don't know how you pronounce that -- that's a proper name of an individual you know?


WHITEHOUSE: Renata. It's spelled with an "E" at the end, R-E-N-A-T-E. Is that...


WHITEHOUSE: OK. And then after that is the word "alumnius." What does the word "alumnius" mean in that context?

KAVANAUGH: I explained that in my opening statement. We -- she was a great friend of ours. We -- a bunch of us went to dances with her. She hung out with us as a group. The media circus that has been generated by this, thought (ph) and reported that it referred to sex. It did not. Never had any -- as she herself said on the record, any kind of sexual interaction with her.

And I'm sorry, how that's been misinterpreted and sorry about that, as I explained in my opening statement. Because she's a good person. And to have her named dragged through this hearing is a joke. And, really, an embarrassment.

WHITEHOUSE: Devil's triangle?

KAVANAUGH: Drinking game.

WHITEHOUSE: How's it played?

KAVANAUGH: Three glasses in a triangle.


KAVANAUGH: You ever played quarters?


KAVANAUGH: OK. It's a quarters game.

WHITEHOUSE: Anne Dougherty's?

KAVANAUGH: As you can tell from my calendar, she had a party on the Fourth of July in the beach in Delaware.

WHITEHOUSE: And there are, like, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven F's in front of the Fourth of July. What does that signify, if anything?

KAVANAUGH: One of our friends, Squi, when he said the F word starting at a young age, had kind of a wind-up to the F word. Kind of a "ffff."


And then the word would come out. And when we were 15, we thought that was funny. And it became an inside joke for the -- how he would say, "Ffff" -- and I won't repeat it here. For the F word.

WHITEHOUSE: Referring to Georgetown versus Louisville and...

KAVANAUGH: You want -- you want any more on the Fs?


[16:55:00] Orioles versus Red Sox. And both, you respond, "Who won anyway?" Or "Who won that game anyway?" Should we draw any conclusion that a loss of recollection associated with alcohol was involved in you not knowing who won the games that you attended?

KAVANAUGH: No. First of all, the Georgetown-Louisville was watching it on TV, a party. And the...

WHITEHOUSE: That's not inconsistent with drinking and not remembering what happened.

KAVANAUGH: I'm aware. And the point of both was, we in essence were having a party and didn't pay attention to the game even though the game was the excuse we had for getting together.

I think that's very common. I don't know if you've been to a Super Bowl party for example, Senator, and not paid attention to the game and just hung out with your friends. I don't know if you've done that or not. But that's what we were referring to in those -- those two occasions.

GRASSLEY: Senator Cornyn?

CORNYN: Judge, I can't think of a more embarrassing scandal for the United States Senate since the McCarthy hearings.

When the comment was about the cruelty of the process toward the people involved, and the question was asked, have you no sense of decency?

And I'm afraid we've lost that, at least for the time being. Do you understand you've been accused of multiple crimes?

KAVANAUGH: I'm -- I'm painfully aware, for my family and me to read about this breathless reporting.

CORNYN: Of course, the -- the sexual assault that Dr. Ford claims that you've denied. Then the claims of Ms. Ramirez, that not even The New York Times would report because it couldn't corroborate it.

And then Stormy Daniels' lawyer released a bombshell, accusing you of gang rape. All of those are crimes, are they not?

KAVANAUGH: They are. And I'm -- I'm never going to get my reputation back. It's -- it -- my life is totally and permanently altered.

CORNYN: Well Judge -- Judge, don't give up.

KAVANAUGH: I'm not giving up. I...

CORNYN: The American -- the American people -- the American people are listening to this, and they will make their decision and I think you'll come out on the right side of that decision.

KAVANAUGH: Well, I will always be a good person and try to be a good judge, whatever happens. But...

CORNYN: So this is not a job interview. You've been accused of a crime. If you have lied to the committee and the investigators, that is a crime in and of itself, correct?

KAVANAUGH: That is correct.

CORNYN: So in order to vote against your nomination, we would have to conclude that you are a serial liar.


CORNYN: And you will have exposed yourself to legal jeopardy in the way -- in your interaction with this committee and the investigators, isn't that correct?

KAVANAUGH: That's -- that's my understanding.

CORNYN: You talked in your interview on -- with Martha MacCallum the other night about a fair process. Some of my colleagues across the aisle say, "Well, the burden is not on the accuser because this is a job interview," the burden is on you.

But you said you weren't there and it didn't happen. It's impossible for you to prove a negative. So I would just suggest that you have been accused of a crime and that a fair process, under the United States Constitution, under our notion of fair play, means that the people who make an accusation against you have to come forward with some evidence.

Isn't that part of a fair process?

KAVANAUGH: Yes, sir, Senator.

CORNYN: And part of that means that if you're going to make an allegation, there needs to be corroboration. In other words, you're not guilty because somebody makes an accusation against you in this country. We're not a police state. We don't give the government that kind of power.

We insist that those charges be proven by competent evidence. And I know we're not in a court. I've told my colleagues, if we were in court, half of them would be in contempt of court.

But you have been accused of a crime, and I believe fundamental notions of fair play and justice and our constitutional system require that if somebody's going to make that accusation against you, then they need to come forward with some corroboration, not just allegations.

And you're right to be angry about the delays in your ability to come here and protect your good name, because in the interim, it just keeps getting worse. It's not Dr. Ford. It's this story that not even the New York Times would report, the allegation of Ms. Ramirez. And then Stormy Daniels' lawyer comes up with this incredible story, accusing you of the most sordid and salacious conduct. It's outrageous, and you're right to be angry.

But this is your chance to tell your story.