Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday questioned Democrats on the Judiciary Committee why they didn’t raise the allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sooner – “even with the name redacted, in the 65 meetings Judge Kavanaugh held with senators before his confirmation hearing” or “in the four days of exhaustive public hearings.”
“You chose to keep [this] secret until the eleventh hour,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
"They didn't raise it, even with the name redacted, in the 65 meetings Judge Kavanaugh held with senators before his confirmation hearing, including his private meeting with the ranking member [Sen. Dianne Feinstein]. They did not raise it, even with the name redacted, even in four days of exhaustive public hearings while Judge Kavanaugh testified under oath,” he said.
"They chose to raise a myriad other matters during the hearing, including [some kinds] with bizarre innuendo," he continued, probably referring to Democratic Sen. Cory Booker’s “Spartacus” moment.
McConnell added that the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee could have raised the matter during closed session where it “could have been addressed with discretion or sensitivity” – or even “in the 1,000 plus follow-up questions sent to Judge Kavanaugh in writing” thereafter.
“But now, at the eleventh hour, with committee votes on schedule, after Democrats have spent weeks and weeks searching for any possible reason that the nomination should be delayed, now they choose to introduce this allegation. Not through the standard bipartisan process … Oh, but by leaking it to the press. Because the chain of custody of this letter runs through the Democratic side of the Judiciary Committee,” he said.
McConnell added that he agrees with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) that “just because the Democrats have egregiously mishandled this … there’s no excuse for us to do the same.”
“It’s really not fair to either of them the way it was handled,” he said.
The Senate Majority Leader said that he's glad that Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) is “following standard practice and regular order.”
Grassley in a statement on Monday said that Kavanaugh's accuser "deserves to be heard" in "an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner."
Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford have been invited to testify before the committee. A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday.
Thursday's committee confirmation vote has been postponed.
Kavanaugh has forcefully denied the allegation, MRCTV reported.
"This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone," he said in a statement on Monday. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making the accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
He added that he is “willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz told CBS’ This Morning in an interview that her client is “willing to do what she needs to do” for the committee to have the “full story.”