Schiff on Kavanaugh: ‘As Long as He’s on that Court, There Will Be a Cloud and Taint over Every Opinion He Issues’
SCHIFF: "Well, my reaction is this, for Senator Johnson or any of the GOP senators to say they treated Dr. Ford with respect, that’s not what I saw from the president mocking her at a political rally. That’s not what I saw with the Republican senators, except for a small few, said nothing in the face of these attacks on a sexual assault victim. And most important, you don’t show her respect merely by sitting silent and have someone else ask your questions, and then refuse to do a meaningful investigation. That is not respect. And as a former prosecutor, I can tell you that to investigate allegations that are decades old, first of all, you cannot do in a week, but second, the fact that the FBI didn’t even take the full week, that people that had corroborating information were not even interviewed, because I’m sure the FBI was not allowed to interview them, that’s not showing her respect. That’s not showing the country respect, but at the end of the day they weren’t interested in the truth, and hide as they might behind Susan Collins, all they cared about was putting another conservative on the court. Is Brett Kavanaugh really the best this country has to offer? I think you’re absolutely right, Alex, as long as he’s on this court, there will be a cloud and taints over every opinion he issues."
>> Lisa murkowski said she did not think he was the proper person to be placed on the court this time, despite a legacy of good jurisprudence and the like, in her esteem. When you heard that senator Joe Manchin was going to vote yes, what was your gut reaction?
>> It wasn’t surprising. I think that had all of the other of course lined up, I don’t think he would have been the deciding vote to confirm him, but when it was essential a Fait accompli, I think that pretty much was the final decision point for him, so not a big surprise, but, you know, I would like to say this. Because I have to think that Dr. Ford, after going through this second trauma must be wondering, why did she do this? Why did she come forward? She already expected her testimony wouldn’t make a difference, but I want her to know it did make a difference. It made a difference to millions of people. It meant a lot to certainly not just victims of sexual assault, but it meant a lot to millions of others to see the courage that she displayed. The other thing I will say to people who are very despondent at yet another tragic day in our history, we have the power to do something about it. We have the power to take the gavels away from these people, we have the power to take these jobs away from the people. We have that power in four weeks. Don’t get mad. Get to the polls. We can do something about this.
>> Do you at all worry about the enthusiasm for that? When beam get upset, they can feel despondent, I know many who have said since yesterday I feel weakened, I’m just kind every getting up, I can’t believe this happened. Women have been of that tone. Do you worry about the enthusiasm sustaining Democrats to do, as you say, to get to the polls a month from now?
>> This was a punch in the gut. I think for many of us, second only to the punch in the gut we got when Donald Trump was elected, we saw that puny inauguration, that knocked the wind out of us, but what gave us the wind back was the day after the inauguration, these millions of people taking the streets for the women’s March, that determination we were not going to accept this as the new direction of our country. And I think you’re going to be the same effect here. It is only going to further galvanize Democrats and Progressives and women to go to the polls, to declare this is not the country we believe in. This is not reflective of our values. We don’t want someone dishonest on the Supreme Court. We want someone of the highest integrity. This has to galvanize us.
>> If you don’t want someone of the highest integrity on this court, and you do not believe that fits the profile of Brett Kavanaugh, we not the midterm elections come up. Should the Democrats get control back of the house, the word “Impeachment” has been thrown around. Is that the wisest things for Democrats to pursue? Or do you think it’s a losing
>> I think the most important thing for Democrats is to be putting forward a positive agenda for the country, to show the country and particularly the half of the country that wakes up on any given day and it’s one unexpected car problem or health problem away from complete failure, that we have an agenda that will immediate their needs. But it’s also very important that Congress once again becomes a coequal branch of government. Not the rubber stamp for this unethical president. That means doing our oversight, getting to the bottom of what constraints were put on the FBI? These folks that are claiming that the FBI did a thorough investigation? That’s nonsense, but we don’t know exactly what the marching orders the FBI was given, but it’s pretty clear getting to the truth wasn’t one of them. I think we need to expose on the administration to public scrutiny. I think that’s important to the health of our democracy.
>> Do you believe you will ever get access to the report? Is it something you —
>> It’s certainly somebody I would like to see, but of greater important, they should only allowed to talked to a number of limited witnesses, people who had incentive to be dishonest about it. What we really need to see is what were the limitations placed on them. Why didn’t they bur view all these people who said I knew him in college, in high school, and his testimony was false. Why weren’t those people interviewed? Why weren’t the victims identified interviewed? That is absolutely not true. Any investigator worth their salt would want time dedicated to ask questions, just because a witness may say that’s all I remember doesn’t mean that when you probe them, when you ask the specific questions, you don’t learn a great deal more. Why didn’t we bring in records from safeway, employees to rob rate Dr. Ford’s testimony about running into mark George at safeway. Why didn’t we try to identify and corroborate what could be demonstrably proven. They weren’t interested in the truth.
>> Representative Adam Schiff, always good to talk to you and get your insites. Thank you for joining me.
>> Thank you.