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‘No Intercourse’: Republican Vying to Boot Democrat from Senate Has Rambling Defense of Kavanaugh


A North Dakota Republican Congressman who is running for a U.S. Senate seat believes Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh should sit on the Supreme Court of the United States — even if the accusations of sexual improprieties currently dogging him are true.

“Does it disqualify him for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?” Rep. Kevin Cramer wondered aloud during a lengthy and rambling interview with KVLY-TV in Fargo, N.D.

Cramer apparently thinks it makes a difference that intercourse hasn’t been alleged. “There was no type of intercourse or anything like that. That was my point, that nothing happened in terms of a sexual event beyond, obviously, the attack, if it’s true . . . we don’t know if any of that happened,” Cramer said.

Cramer also seemed to wonder if perhaps what happened involved “two drunk kids,” which apparently might make it excusable (in his mind). “These are teenagers who evidently were drunk . . . it was supposedly an attempt that never went anywhere,” Cramer said during an interview with KNOX-AM Radio in Grand Forks, N.D.

Cramer then seemed to agree that Kavanaugh should be confirmed because what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas allegedly did to Anita Hill is worse than what Kavanaugh allegedly did. Since Thomas sits on the court, so should Kavanaugh, the logic seems to go.

Why is the Clarence Thomas situation worse?  The accusation was more recent, Thomas and Hill were adults, and Thomas was Hill’s superior, Cramer rationalized. Kavanaugh and his accusers were kids, making it “not a fair comparison.”

Previously, Cramer said the accusations against Kavanaugh were “even more absurd” than those against Thomas, but he later attempted to clarify that sexual assault is not less serious just because it is committed by teenagers.

What about additional witnesses? Cramer’s thoughts on that are complex as well.

First, he said during the television interview that he wasn’t sure any alleged witnesses should be subpoenaed. Second, he said that it would be fine if alleged witnesses were subpoenaed. Third, he said he wasn’t sure if witnesses should or should not be subpoenaed. Then, he said all the witnesses to the alleged Kavanaugh attack(s) should testify.

Cramer said he likes to “talk out loud” but that he’s weary of national news organizations trying to smear him by taking his comments out of context.

Cramer is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp. The race is tight. Heitkamp has released a series (one, two, three) of press release rebutting Cramer’s increasingly complicated positions on the Kavanaugh situation. In one of them, Heitkamp, who was the North Dakota Attorney General before winning her current U.S. Senate seat, said Cramer’s “apparent views on sexual assault are dangerous, mean-spirited and devoid of empathy.”

[Image via screen capture from KVLY-TV.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.