Donald Trump defends US Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual assault
US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, a university professor, has said she was assaulted at a party 36 years ago, when both were high school students.
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 23:52:26
US President Donald Trump has defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation has been imperilled by accusations of sexual assault.
“Justice Kavanaugh has been treated very, very tough, and his family. I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
Kavanaugh’s accuser, a university professor, has said she was assaulted at a party 36 years ago, when both were high school students. She was 15 then and Kavanaugh was 17.
Republicans, who control the Senate and Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, had scheduled a hearing for the professor and Trump’s nominee on Monday. However, the professor has demanded a FBI inquiry into her allegations before she testifies, changing her earlier offer to testify.
“An FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations,” the professor’s attorney, Debra Katz, said in a letter to Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator who heads the senate judiciary committee.
Katz also wrote that since the professor went public with her accusations, she has been a “target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home”.
The professor’s demand for a FBI inquiry before her testimony echoes a demand by the Democrats, who have also opposed the Monday hearing. They argue the allegations must be investigated so that the members of the committee have the full facts before they consider the accusations and Kavanaugh’s denials.
But Republicans, even those who had argued for the confirmation process to be slowed down to hear the accuser, are saying that if she doesn’t testify on Monday, the process should be advanced to the next stage — a vote of the committee and then the full Senate chamber.
First Published: Sep 19, 2018 23:47:26