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Mazie Hirono to question Brett Kavanaugh on high school environment

September 23, 2018

Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mazie Hirono said Sunday she’ll question Brett Kavanaugh about his high school environment when he appears before lawmakers this week.

The Supreme Court nominee will likely appear before the committee Thursday to respond to accusations of sexual assault from three decades ago after Christine Blasey Ford came forward last weekend, saying he forced himself on her when the two were in high school after drinking heavily at a party.

Ms. Hirono is one of several female Democratic senators on the committee who have called for an FBI probe into Ms. Blasey Ford’s allegations, saying even Anita Hill had an FBI investigation before she testified about her allegations against Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

“We don’t seem to have come very far from the Anita Hill days,” the Hawaii Democrat told CNN. “We already have one person on the Supreme Court who got there under this cloud, we don’t want to have another.”

Ms. Blasey Ford has reportedly named four people who were present at the party during the time of the incident, but so far all four have said they don’t recall the allegation in question.

One of those witnesses, Mark Judge, was allegedly in the room at the time of the attack, according to Ms. Blasey Ford.

He has said he doesn’t recall the incident and that he’s never known Judge Kavanaugh to behave in the manner Ms. Blasey Ford is alleging. He also told lawmakers he doesn’t wish to testify.

Ms. Blasey Ford, though, is calling for the committee to subpoena Mr. Judge.

“That is astounding to me -- he was right there in that room. He refuses to testify,” Ms. Hirono said. “There is credibility to her story.”

The committee held off a vote on Judge Kavanaugh in order to accommodate Ms. Blasey Ford’s testimony, but her lawyers have demanded the GOP have the FBI first investigate her allegation, allow her to testify after Judge Kavanaugh in a different room, and give her an unlimited amount of time to make her opening statement.

They also requested the hearing to be on Thursday, while committee Republicans had offered to change the hearing date from Monday to Wednesday.

On Saturday, Ms. Blasey Ford’s attorney said her client will testify, though not all the details have been finalized.

Judge Kavanaugh has also vehemently denied the accusation, and so far no corroborating witness has publicly come forward to back up Ms. Blasey Ford’s account.

In a letter Thursday to Mr. Grassley, Judge Kavanaugh said he will be at the hearing and is eager to defend his integrity.

“I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name,” the nominee said.

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