Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) made waves on Monday when he said that Brett Kavanaugh told him he wasn’t even at the high school party where Christine Blasey Ford claims he attempted to sexually assault her. Now it’s Tuesday we know a Hatch spokesman is denying that Kavanaugh’s words were as Hatch said them.
Hatch said Monday that he was told by an “honest” and “straightforward” Kavanaugh that he did not attend the party in question. He also said Ford might be “mixed up.”
The way it was reported before was that Kavanaugh told Hatch “he was not present at the party in question.” This was deemed odd since there had not been any specific details about the location or date of the party. According to the Washington Post‘s Dan Eggen, a Hatch spokesman is now clarifying the senator’s words.
The spokesman, Hatch’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director Matt Whitlock, said Monday evening that Kavanaugh only said he was “not at any party like the one she describes.”
Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegations against him, is expected to appear at a hearing on Monday, as is Ford. Ford has stated through her attorney Debra Katz that she is willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding her allegations.
While Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing took place two weeks back, things were certainly thrown for a loop on Thursday when Sen. Dianne Feinstein forwarded Ford’s allegation (she was still unnamed at the time) to the FBI. Over the weekend, Ford went public in an interview with the Washington Post, claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party in the 80s and that she did not speak of this until 2012, during couples therapy. Ford said she decided it was her “civic responsibility” to come forward, and now a new hearing will take place.
Ford’s husband Russell said that he recalled her mention of Kavanaugh by name. A Kavanaugh friend identified as Mark Judge was accused of looking on as the alleged attempted assault occurred. Judge denied that he ever saw Kavanaugh act that way.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations in no uncertain terms.
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said on Monday. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am 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.”
The White House responded saying that Kavanaugh would be able to testify tomorrow, if need be.
“Judge Kavanaugh looks forward to a hearing where he can clear his name of this false allegation. He stands ready to testify tomorrow if the Senate is ready to hear him,” spokesman Raj Shah said.
Republican lawmakers like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) are just a couple of names who have pushed for a public hearing. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), an crucial vote Senate Republicans need to keep, also called for a public hearing.
“I believe in order for me to assess the credibility of these allegations that I want to have both individuals come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testify under oath,” Collins said. “Obviously if Judge Kavanaugh has lied about what happened, that would be disqualifying.”
[Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images]
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