President Donald Trump raised eyebrows during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony when he suggested Kavanaugh was „proven innocent” of the numerous sexual misconduct allegations that nearly upended his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
„Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation,” Trump said, referring to Kavanaugh’s vetting process. „Not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process.”
Trump said „a man or woman, must always be presumed innocent unless, and until proven guilty.”
„And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent.”
The FBI investigated a claim made by Christine Blasey Ford, a California university professor who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. The agency took about a week to interview 10 out of the 11 people who agreed to talk.
The results of that investigation, delivered in a report to the White House and Senate lawmakers last week, led the White House and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to say there was no evidence to corroborate Ford’s claims.
While both Ford and Kavanaugh testified about the allegations in front of the committee on September 27, the proceeding was not a trial, and no verdicts were rendered.
But critics, including Democratic lawmakers and Ford’s attorneys, claimed that the FBI never followed up with potential interviewees and also alleged that the investigation was too narrow in time and scope. Despite the concerns, the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded that „there is no corroboration of the allegations” after receiving the FBI’s supplemental report.
„There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know,” Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement after receiving the FBI report.
„These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations.”
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh in a 50-48 vote on Saturday.