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Ohio Senators react to emotional hearing on sex abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

September 28, 2018

Ohio Senators react to emotional hearing on sex abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a girl in high school didn’t sway U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s conviction that Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

The only Ohioans who will get a vote on whether Kavanaugh should get a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court said their minds were not changed after they listened to a long day of testimony from Kavanaugh and the California psychology professor who accused him of grabbing her at a party, throwing her on a bed, and trying to remove her clothes.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he decided to vote against Kavanaugh before  Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were publicized. He released a statement Thursday that called her testimony courageous and “inspiring.”

“I am very grateful to her for coming forward to tell her story, even in the face of deep personal cost,” Brown’s statement said. “She was moving, heartfelt. While I had already decided not to support Judge Kavanaugh based on his history of siding with corporations and Wall Street over workers, Dr. Ford’s testimony today was a powerful moment for our country.” 

Portman - a longtime friend of Kavanaugh’s who introduced him before the Judiciary Committee - reiterated his belief that Kavanaugh should be confirmed. The Ohio Republican’s statement said he listened carefully to testimony from both witnesses.

“I believe allegations of sexual assault should be taken very seriously, and Dr. Ford deserved the opportunity to tell her story and be heard,” said the statement from Portman. “I believe my job is to assess the facts that we have before us, and that’s very difficult when no corroboration exists regarding this allegation.”

While I had already decided not to support Judge Kavanaugh based on his history of siding with corporations and Wall Street over workers, Dr. Ford’s testimony today was a powerful moment for our country. -SB— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) September 27, 2018

 

Portman’s statement stressed Kavanaugh’s adamant denial of the claims, and the fact that the three other people whom Ford said were at the house where the assault occurred had “no recollection of this event or this party.” He also noted that Kavanaugh was thoroughly vetted by the FBI “on six different occasions, and no such allegation ever surfaced.”

Portman found it particularly salient that a lifelong friend of Ford’s named Leland Keyser submitted testimony that said she was never at a party with Kavanaugh and didn’t know him. He noted that “in America, there is a presumption of innocence when there is no evidence to corroborate a charge.”

“Dozens of men and women who knew Brett Kavanaugh in high school have attested to his good character,” Portman’s statement said. “This includes 65 women who knew him at that time who wrote a letter saying the Brett Kavanaugh they knew treated women with decency and respect.”

“I have known Judge Kavanaugh for more than 15 years, I know his wife Ashley, and I know his family,” Portman’s statement continued. “The Brett Kavanaugh I know is a man of integrity and humility. He also has the right qualifications and experience to serve on the Supreme Court. In fact, the American Bar Association has given him their highest rating, unanimously. I support his confirmation.”

I had the opportunity to watch the hearing today and listened carefully to both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testify. Here is my full statement: https://t.co/6X44Bhxt84— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) September 27, 2018

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