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Jeff Flake on Brett Kavanaugh testimony: ‘If I were unjustly accused, that’s how I would feel’

September 30, 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake says that while Judge Brett Kavanaugh did have “sharp” exchanges with senators last week, the judge’s demeanor during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was in keeping with someone who absolutely believes they’ve been unjustly accused.

“I have to say that, when I heard him, I heard someone who I hope I would sound like if I had been unjustly accused,” Mr. Flake, Arizona Republican, said in an interview taped for CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “It was anger. But if I were unjustly accused, that’s how I would feel as well. And as it went on, I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp.”

Mr. Flake last week said he would vote to move the judge’s nomination out of committee, but that he wanted the FBI to take another look into the background of Judge Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct when he was in high school and college.

“The statement in the beginning, I thought was pretty raw but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused,” Mr. Flake said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar at one point asked Judge Kavanaugh if he had ever had so much to drink that he couldn’t remember events from the night before, prompting the judge to ask Ms. Klobuchar whether she had ever done so. The judge later apologized.

Mr. Flake said other aspects of the judge’s testimony, like his invoking the Clintons, “seemed partisan.”

“But boy, I had to put myself in that spot...I think you give a little leeway there,” he said.

Mr. Flake appeared on the program alongside Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat and another judiciary committee member.

Mr. Coons described Judge Kavanaugh as “belligerent,” “aggressive,” and “angry” in the hearing.

“As I watched him, part of me thought ‘this is a man who believes that he did nothing wrong, and he is completely unjustly accused. And he’s being railroaded. And he’s furious about it,’” Mr. Coons said.

“There were some lines that he delivered that were sharper, more partisan, more ‘this is the Clintons paying me back. This is a Democratic smear campaign’ that I was surprised struck, to hear from a judicial nominee.” he said.

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