KAVANAUGH: WHAT’S AT STAKE?

September 28, 2018 at 5:15 am

The country turns its attention to the Senate hearings on Capitol Hill amid several allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Rep. Nita Lowey is here with the details.

Aired on September 27, 2018.

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>> I BELIEVE HE WAS GOING TO
RAPE ME.
I TRIED TO YELL FOR HELP.
WHEN I DID, BRETT PUT HIS HAND
OVER MY MOUTH TO STOP ME FROM
YELLING.
THIS IS WHAT TERRIFIED ME THE
MOST AND HAD THE MOST LASTING
IMPACT ON MY LIFE.
IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO BREATHE,
AND I THOUGHT BRETT WAS
ACCIDENTLY GOING TO KILL ME.
BOTH BRETT AND MARK WERE
DRUNKENLY LAUGHING DURING THE
ATTACK.
>> I'M NOT QUESTIONING THAT DR.
FORD MAY HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY
ASSAULTED BY SOME PERSON IN SOME
PLACE, AT SOME TIME.
BUT I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS, TO
HER, OR TO ANYONE.
IT'S NOT WHO I AM.
IT IS NOT WHO I WAS.
I AM INNOCENT OF THIS CHARGE.
>> GOOD EVENING.
AND WELCOME TO THIS "METROFOCUS"
SPECIAL, THE CLASH ON CAPITOL
HILL OVER THE KAVANAUGH
CONTROVERSY.
I'M JACK FORD.
TODAY IS AN HISTORIC DAY IN
WASHINGTON AND CAPITOL HILL.
SUPREME COURT NOMINEE BRETT
KAVANAUGH FACES ACCUSATIONS OF
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, NOT BY ONE,
BUT THREE WOMEN.
TODAY, JUDGE KAVANAUGH FACED OFF
AGAINST THE FIRST WOMAN, WHO HAS
SINCE COME FORWARD, PROFESSOR
CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD.
SHE ALLEGES THAT KAVANAUGH
SEXUALLY ASSAULTED HER IN THE
EARLY 1980s.
THE MOOD ON THE HILL, TENSE.
THE STAKES, QUITE HIGH.
ONE OF THE LAWMAKERS IS NEW YORK
REPRESENTATIVE NITA LOWEY, AND
SHE JOINS ME NOW.
REPRESENTATIVE, IT'S NICE TO
HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.
AND IF ADDITION TO YOUR ROLE
NOW, YOU BRING A SENSE OFFIS TRY
FOR US.
AND A SENSE THAT YOU WERE
ELECTED IN 1988.
YOU WERE THERE IN 1991 WHEN THE
CLARENCE THOMAS, ANITA HILL
HEARINGS TOOK PLACE.
I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT SOME
PARALLELS ON THAT IN A MOMENT.
BUT FIRST, I WOULD LIKE TO GET
YOUR SENSE.
HERE YOU ARE, A FAIRLY NEW
CONGRESS PERSON IN 1991.
THE HEARINGS WERE, BEFORE THAT,
DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THEY HAVE
BECOME.
INDEED, SOME PEOPLE WOULD BE
SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT IN THE
PAST, THEY WERE VERY COLLEGIAL
INDEED.
NOMINEES DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO
APPEAR IN FRONT OF THE JUDICIARY
COMMITTEE.
ALL OF THAT CHANGED IN 1987 WITH
JUDGE ROBERT BORK'S HEARING.
AND HERE YOU ARE AS A NEW
CONGRESS PERSON IN 1991.
SO LOOKING BACK AT THAT, WHAT DO
YOU REMEMBER THINKING ABOUT THIS
HEARING, AND HOW IT HAD CHANGED
SO DRAMATICALLY INTO THE REALM
OF PERSONAL CONFRONTATION AND
PERSONAL ALLEGATIONS?
>> I REMEMBER VERY CLEARLY, WHEN
SEVEN OF US TOOK A WALK OVER TO
THE SENATE, KNOCKED ON THE
SENATE DOOR BECAUSE THEY WERE
HAVING A CAUCUS MEETING.
AND WE WERE ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED
WHEN SENATOR MITCHELL WOULD NOT
LET US COME IN TO TALK TO THE
MEMBERS OF THE CAUCUS.
WE WERE ENRAGED THAT ANITA HILL
WAS NOT GIVEN RESPECT.
IT WAS AN ALL-MEN COMMITTEE.
DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.
AND SHE FINALLY WAS ALLOWED TO
SPEAK BUT FRANKLY, THERE WAS NO
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT SEXUAL
ACCUSATION REALLY MEANS TO THE
VICTIM, TO THOSE WHO ARE
SUFFERING, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT
BELIEVED.
>> DO YOU THINK THERE'S ANY
BETTER UNDERSTANDING NOW WITH
THE PASSAGE OF SOME 27 YEARS, DO
YOU THINK WE'VE MADE ANY
PROGRESS IN THAT REALM?
>> I CERTAINLY THINK WE MADE A
LOT OF PROGRESS.
HOWEVER, PROFESSOR FORD IS
TESTIFYING TO COME FORWARD AND
IT TAKES A GREAT DEAL OF
COURAGE.
BECAUSE IT BRINGS BACK THE PAIN
AND THE MEMORIES AND THE
SUFFERING SHE WENT THROUGH.
AND YET WHEN AN APPOINTMENT TO
THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA DEPENDS NOT
ONLY ON INTELLIGENCE, BUT
CREDIBILITY, CHARACTER,
UNDERSTANDING, A PERSON WHO HAS
TO MAKE A WHOLE RANGE OF
DECISIONS, WHEN THEY WANT TO
RUSH THIS THROUGH WITHOUT -- AND
THEY MEANING THE REPUBLICANS --
WANT TO RUSH THIS THROUGH
WITHOUT AN FBI INVESTIGATION, I
AM TRULY, TRULY SHOCKED.
IF THERE ARE THOSE REPUBLICANS
WHO DON'T BELIEVE HER, THEY
SHOULD GET AN FBI INVESTIGATION.
BUT FOR ME, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE,
UNDERSTANDING THAT IT TAKES SUCH
GUTS TO COME FORWARD NOW.
I'M HERE IN WASHINGTON, AND SHE
EXPRESSED HER FEAR AND HER
HESITATION.
WHY CAN'T THEY TAKE A LITTLE
MORE TIME AND DO IT CORRECTLY?
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT A PARALLELS.
BECAUSE I'VE SEEN YOU MADE SOME
COMMENTS ABOUT THE PARALLELS
BETWEEN 1991, THOSE HEARINGS,
AND THE HEARINGS THAT ARE TAKING
PLACE TODAY.
LET'S START FOCUSING ON THE
WOMEN WHO ARE INVOLVED.
WHAT PARALLELS DO YOU SEE
BETWEEN PROFESSOR ANITA HILL,
AND NOW PROFESSOR FORD?
>> FIRST OF ALL, THE REAL
CONTRAST IS WHO IS ASKING THE
QUESTIONS.
ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE TODAY,
THERE WERE WOMEN AND MEN WHO
RESPECT HER POINT OF VIEW ON
LISTENING, AND WANT TO GET TO
THE TRUTH.
AND THAT'S WHY THEY'RE ASKING
FOR AN FBI INVESTIGATION.
FRANKLY, AT THE TIME OF CLARENCE
THOMAS, WHEN ANITA HILL WAS
ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO TESTIFY, IT
WAS ALL MEN.
THEY WERE VERY RUDE.
MANY OF THEM DIDN'T PAY ANY
ATTENTION.
AND THERE WERE CLEAR QUESTIONS
IN MY MIND WHETHER THEY WERE
REALLY LISTENING AND
UNDERSTANDING WHAT SEXUAL ABUSE
WAS ALL ABOUT.
>> IN LOOKING AT THIS HEARING, I
COVERED THE CLARENCE HILL, ANITA
THOMAS HEARING.
SO EVERY MOMENT OF THOSE DAYS I
WAS INVOLVED IN COVERING IT.
IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE IT WAS THAT
LONG AGO, QUITE HONESTLY.
BUT LOOKING AT THIS HEARING, AT
LEAST IN TERMS OF THE OPTICS,
I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE
POLITICS HERE, BUT IN TERMS OF
THE OPTICS, THE MANNER IN WHICH
QUESTIONS ARE BEING POSED, THE
ATTITUDES OF THE QUESTIONERS, AS
YOU MENTIONED, THERE IS A
PROFESSIONAL PROSECUTOR WHO IS
DOING ALL THE QUESTIONING FOR
THE REPUBLICAN SIDE.
THE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS ARE
FIGURING OUT THEIR OWN
STATEMENTS AND QUESTIONS.
I'M STRUCK BY WHAT APPEARS TO BE
A BIT OF A DIFFERENCE.
DO YOU ALSO SEE A DIFFERENCE IN
TONE AND ATTITUDE?
AGAIN, NOT TALKING ABOUT
POLITICS, BUT TONE AND ATTITUDE
IN THE QUESTIONING?
>> A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
THERE IS NO COMPARISON, AND THE
WOMAN PROSECUTOR IS A PERSON WHO
IS ASKING THE QUESTIONS OF THE
REPUBLICAN IS VERY RESPECTFUL,
ASKING THE QUESTIONS IN A
CAUTIOUS WAY.
VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE WAY BOTH
DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS
FRANKLY DURING ANITA HILL
HEARINGS ASKED THE QUESTIONS.
>> SO IT SOUNDS LIKE SOME
LESSONS WERE LEARNED IN THE
SENATE.
AGAIN, NOT TALKING ABOUT THE
POLITICS AND WHAT IS ULTIMATELY
GOING TO BE THE RESULTS HERE,
BUT SOME LESSONS HAVING BEEN
LEARNED IN TERMS OF THE MANNER
WHICH THIS SHOULD BE DONE AND
THE OPTICS IN WHICH IT SHOULD BE
DONE.
>> OH, I THINK THERE'S A GREATER
UNDERSTANDING AND CERTAINLY
PROFESSOR FORD IS A VERY, VERY
BELIEVABLE CANDIDATE, COMING
BEFORE A BELIEVABLE WITNESS
RATHER, AND THERE IS NO QUESTION
IN MY MIND THAT THE REPUBLICANS
WHO ARE OPPOSING HER AND STILL
STANDING BY JUDGE KAVANAUGH ARE
BEING VERY, VERY CAREFUL,
BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE WORLD IS
WATCHING AND UNDERSTANDS THE
CHALLENGE THAT PROFESSOR FORD
HAD DURING THIS GRILLING, DURING
THE QUESTIONING, AND, AGAIN,
THERE IS NO REASON IN MY MIND
WHY THEY COULDN'T TAKE THEIR
TIME FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO THE
HIGHEST COURT OF THE LAND.
SOMEBODY WHO HAS TO MAKE
JUDGMENTS EVERY DAY ABOUT A
WHOLE RANGE OF CASES.
THEY COULD HAVE WAITED.
WHY LETTING HER SIT THERE AND
WHY COULDN'T THE REPUBLICANS
UNDERSTAND THAT THE DEMOCRATS
SHOULD GET ALL THE TIME THEY
NEED TO ASK THE QUESTIONS OF
JUDGE KAVANAUGH, TO MAKE SURE
THAT HE'S QUALIFIED, NOT JUST
BECAUSE OF HIS DEGREES AND HIS
INTELLIGENCE, BUT HIS
UNDERSTANDING OF PEOPLE, WOMEN,
AND IN ISSUES SUCH AS THIS.
>> AND DO YOU SEE IN TERMS OF
PARALLELS, WE TALKED ABOUT THE
WOMEN WHO ARE INVOLVED.
HOW ABOUT THE NOMINEES THEM
SELVES?
DO YOU SEE PARALLELS BETWEEN NOW
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CLARENCE
THOMAS THEN, THE NOMINEE, AND
CURRENTLY JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH
IN TERMS OF BACKGROUNDS AND HOW
THEY HAVE HANDLED THEMSELVES IN
THE FACE OF THIS CONTROVERSY?
>> WELL, FRANKLY, JUDGE
KAVANAUGH INTELLECTUALLY IS A
PERSON THAT HAS EARNED RESPECT.
WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS
PERSONAL VIEWS ARE, WHETHER HE'S
CREDIBLE, WHETHER HE HAS
CHARACTER.
BUT IN TERMS OF INTELLECTUAL
BACKGROUND, HE CERTAINLY HAS HAD
A CAREER THAT'S WORTHY OF
RESPECT.
>> WELL, REPRESENTATIVE, I WANT
TO THANK YOU AGAIN.
THE SENSE OF HISTORY, THE SENSE
OF PARALLELS, THE BACKGROUND
BETWEEN THE TWO ARE CERTAINLY
HELPFUL FOR ALL OF US IN
UNDERSTANDING AS WE FOLLOW THIS
PROCESS ALONG.
SO WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU
TAKING SOME TIME, AND I'M SURE A
BUSY DAY FOR YOU, AND WE HOOK
FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU
AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
>> THANK YOU.

Funders

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