US Senator John Thune of South Dakota says the allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh amount to a fishing expedition by Democrats.
Those comments come during a Senate floor speech given by Thune days before the nominee’s continued confirmation hearings, in which sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh is alleged.
Thune says it came as no surprise that Democrats opposed Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination by President Donald Trump. Ever since the announcement of Kavanaugh as the nominee, Thune has championed the candidate – saying he will judge based on law and facts, while leaving his political opinions outside the courtroom door.
The former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy – who retired earlier this year – is a candidate from a list of judges picked by the nationwide organization of conservative lawyers called The Federalist Society.
Thune’s comments came as two women claim to have been victims of sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh decades ago.
Thune accuses Democrats of withholding information about accusations against Kavanaugh and issuing them during a politically opportune moment.
“Is this what Democrats want subsequent supreme court nominations to look like?” Thune says. “A hyper partisan process in which character attacks don’t have to be backed up with actual evidence, in which innuendo can substitute for information. And where a presumption of guilt is the order of the day no matter how shaky or unsubstantiated the allegations.”
In 2016, Thune was among a Senate Republican majority that pushed for a delay of then-President Obama supreme court nominee Merrick Garland, who was picked to replace former justice Antonin Scalia.
Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasé Ford – one of Kavanaugh’s accusers – are expected to testify Thursday morning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.