5 Republican men held a press conference to justify their Kavanaugh support. It was a mess.

Gaslight theater.


A group of old, white, Republican men held a news conference on Thursday afternoon to justify their intention to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court this weekend, despite the perjury scandal that continues to swirl around him, and on the heels of a perfunctory FBI “investigation” into two assault allegations against the judge.

In order to discredit Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Kavanaugh, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) pushed brazen lies about whether or not her story is “corroborated.”

As ThinkProgress has detailed, four people recently submitted sworn affidavits to the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming Ford told them Kavanaugh assaulted her well before he was nominated to the Supreme Court — in one case in 2012, in another in 2013. Each of those affidavits constitute corroboration for Ford’s story, and also quash the conspiracy theory pushed by Kavanaugh that the allegations are part of a left-wing political conspiracy.

But during their news conference on Thursday, Hatch and Cornyn simply pretended those affidavits don’t exist.

“We have found nothing, absolutely nothing to corroborate accusations,” Hatch falsely claimed at one point.

There is “no corroboration,” lied Cornyn at another.

Later, echoing language that Kavanaugh used at last week’s hearing, Cornyn claimed that Ford’s accusation is “refuted.”

“All of the people identified by Ms. Ramirez [a woman who accuses Kavanaugh of assaulting her at Yale] and Dr. Ford have testified contrary to the way Ms. Ramirez and Dr. Ford has alleged, and so the witnesses they have identified saying they were present at the event have all refuted their allegations,” Cornyn said.

In fact, no witnesses have publicly “refuted” Ramirez or Ford’s accounts. A friend Ford says was at the party with her on the night she was assaulted has said she believes Ford. Several of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates have told reporters they heard about the alleged assault of Ramirez at the time and recalled the incident decades later a manner similar to Ramirez.

At another point during the press conference, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) pushed a crackpot theory that Ford was indeed assaulted, but by somebody other than Kavanaugh.


“Dr Ford, I firmly believe, experienced the traumatic event in her life. I just also also believe that there is no evidence” that Kavanaugh did it, he said.

But Ford unequivocally said under oath she’s “100 percent” sure Kavanaugh was her assailant.

Asked who was responsible for limiting the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed “we did not come up with a list of people the FBI should interview.” But that claim directly contradicts what White House spokesman Raj Shah said earlier Thursday, when he told CNN that “an initial list of four was provided by the Senate.”

Following the news conference, Cornyn told reporters that Republicans are hoping to hold the final confirmation vote for Kavanaugh on Saturday afternoon.