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Democratic Reactions To Kavanaugh Developments Swift And Scathing

Carolyn Kaster
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., joined by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, left, speaks about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill Friday.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut says Judge Brett Kavanaugh is the most dangerous nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in his lifetime. He said this in a speech on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday afternoon.

Murphy, a 45-year-old Democrat, told his Republican colleagues he has never seen a more nakedly partisan candidate nominated for the highest court in the land. Murphy referred to Kavanaugh, saying at his hearing that Dr. Ford’s sexual assault allegation was part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to derail his nomination.

“For a nominee to the Supreme Court to believe such a farfetched story and then to angrily warn Democrats that what goes around comes around...It is one of the most astonishing unveiling of political bias I have ever witnessed from a nominee asking for the support of the United States Senate.”

Murphy had announced he would not vote for Kavanaugh even before Dr. Ford’s allegation became public. The Connecticut senator says he believes Kavanaugh would be a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, oppose gun restrictions and end Obamacare.

Connecticut’s other U.S. senator, Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile denounced the supplemental FBI report on Kavanaugh, calling it woefully incomplete and inadequate.  

“It is, in a word, a whitewash. It smacks of a cover-up. Witnesses were never contacted. Many key witnesses never interviewed.”

Blumenthal was speaking on a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon. He said he had also made up his mind to vote against Kavanaugh even before the allegations of sexual assault surfaced.  

Students at Yale Law School reacted to the FBI report that senators reviewed in secret on Thursday. Kavanaugh is a Yale Law alumnus.

“To have this purported FBI report that is being shrouded in secrecy and people aren’t allowed to see what’s in it, people don't even know who are the nine witnesses who the FBI was able to speak to are, then it provides sort of cover where they can say that we believe this investigation was thorough. But there’s no sort of democratic check on making sure that it actually was thorough,” said Kathryn Pogin, a second year law student at Yale.

Pogin, who is with the group that organized protests in Washington, D.C., in favor of an investigation, says students were originally hopeful that the FBI investigation would be fair and impartial, but “those hopes quickly started to dwindle as we realized how curtailed and limited the investigation would be.”

Pogin says the report is a sham if witnesses to alleged sexual misconduct could not reach the FBI this week.

A lawyer for Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez, says 20 possible witnesses were not approached by the FBI.

Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer says eight potential witnesses were not interviewed.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including the founding producer of the weekly talk show, The Full Story.
Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
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