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THE SITUATION ROOM
Continuing Coverage of Kavanaugh Testimony. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired September 27, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN: And then Stormy Daniels' lawyer comes up with this incredible story, accusing you of the most sordid and salacious conduct.
It's outrageous, and you're right to be angry.
But this is your chance to tell your story, and I hope you have a chance to tell us everything you want tell us. But the burden is not on you to disprove the allegations made. The burden under our system, when you accuse somebody of criminal conduct, is on the person making the accusation.
Now, I understand we're not -- this isn't a trial, like I said, but I just wanted to make sure that we understood. It's hard to reconstruct what happened 36 years ago, and I appreciate what you said about Dr. Ford, that perhaps she has had an incident at some point in her life, and you are sympathetic to that, and...
But your reputation is on the line, and I hope people understand the gravity of the charges made against you, and what a fair process looks like.
GRASSLEY: Senator Klobuchar?
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Judge, we're talking here about decency, and -- and you understand, we have this constitutional duty to advise and consent. And for me, when this evidence came forward, I decided that I needed to look at this, and I needed to find out about it, and I needed to ask you questions about it, as well as others that were involved.
So again, I'm not going to take quite the same approach as my colleagues here and talk about Don McGahn, or any of this. Why don't you just ask the president? Mrs. -- Dr. Ford can't do this. We clearly haven't been able to do this. But just ask the president to reopen the FBI investigation.
KAVANAUGH: I think the committee is doing -- you're doing the investigation. I'm here to answer your questions...
KAVANAUGH: ... and I should say one thing, Senator Klobuchar, which is I appreciate our meeting together, and I appreciate how you handled the prior hearing, and I have a lot of respect for you.
KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you. All of that aside, here's the thing: you could actually just get this open so that we can talk to these witnesses, and the FBI can do it instead of us. And you've come before us, but we have people like Mark Judge, who Dr. Ford says was a witness to this. We have this polygraph expert that my colleagues were raising issues about the polygraph. We would like to have that person come before us. And I just think if we could open this up...
KAVANAUGH: I don't mean to -- I don't mean to interrupt, but I guess I am. But Mark -- Mark Judge has provided sworn statement saying this didn't happen, and that I never did or would do...
KLOBUCHAR: But we would like the FBI to be able to follow up and ask him questions. You know, we talked about past nomination processes, and you talked those, and I note that President George Bush, in the Anita Hill / Justice Thomas case, he opened up the FBI investigation and let questions being asked, and I think it was helpful for people. So was his decision reasonable?
KAVANAUGH: I -- I don't know the circumstances of that. What I know, Senator, is I'm (inaudible)
KLOBUCHAR: But you -- that it -- he -- he just -- the circumstances are that he opened up the investigation so the FBI could ask some questions.
KAVANAUGH: I -- I'm...
KLOBUCHAR: That's what he -- he opened up the background check.
KAVANAUGH: I'm here to answer questions about my yearbook, or about, you know, what I...
KLOBUCHAR: OK, that's -- I...
KAVANAUGH: ... my sports, or, you know, summer basketball...
KLOBUCHAR: OK. I'm not going to ask about the yearbook.
So most people have done some drinking in high school and college, and many people even struggle with alcoholism and binge drinking. My own dad struggled with alcoholism most of his life, and he got in trouble for it, and there were consequences. He is still in A.A. at age 90, and he's sober, and in his words, he was pursued by grace, and that's how he got through this.
So in your case, you have said, here and other places, that you never drank so much that you didn't remember what happened. But yet, we have heard -- not under oath, but we have heard your college roommate say that you did drink frequently. These are in news reports. That you would sometimes be belligerent. Another classmate said it's not credible for you to say you didn't have memory lapses. So drinking is one thing.
KAVANAUGH: I don't think -- I -- I actually don't think that's -- the second quote's correct. On the first quote, if you wanted, I provided some material that's still redacted about the situation with the freshman year roommate, and I don't really want to repeat that in a public hearing, but just so you know, there were three people in a room, Dave White, Jamie Roach (ph) and me, and it was a contentious situation where Jamie did not like Dave White.
I was -- at all, and I'm in this...
KLOBUCHAR: OK, I -- I just...
KAVANAUGH: So Dave -- so Dave White came back from -- from home one weekend, and Jamie Roach had moved all his furniture...
KLOBUCHAR: OK. OK.
KAVANAUGH: ... out into the -- out into the courtyard.
KAVANAUGH: And so he walks in, and so that's your source on that, so there's some old...
KLOBUCHAR: OK, so drinking is one thing.
KAVANAUGH: There -- and there's much more. Look at the redacted portion of what I said. I don't want to repeat that in a public hearing.
KLOBUCHAR: All right. I will. I will.
KLOBUCHAR: Could I just ask one question?
KAVANAUGH: ... redacted information about that.
KLOBUCHAR: OK. Drinking is one thing, but the concern is about truthfulness, and in your written testimony, you said sometimes you had too many drinks. Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?
KAVANAUGH: No, I -- no. I remember what happened, and I think you've probably had beers, Senator, and -- and so I...
KLOBUCHAR: So you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened.
KAVANAUGH: It's -- you're asking about, you know, blackout. I don't know. Have you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? I just -- so you -- that's not happened. Is that your answer? KAVANAUGH: Yeah, and I'm curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
KAVANAUGH: Yeah, nor do I.
KLOBUCHAR: OK, thank you.
GRASSLEY: Before I go to Senator Hatch, since this FBI thing keeps coming up all the time, let's get back to basics. First of all, anybody, including any senator that's brought up this issue, could ask for an FBI investigation. What the FBI does is gather information for the White House, then the file's sent to the committee for us to make our own evaluations. We're capable of making our own determination about the accuracy of any of those allegations. The FBI has put out a statement over, now I suppose it's a month ago, clearly stating this matter is closed, as far as -- as the -- the letter being sent to them, and there is no federal crime to investigate.
If Senator -- Senate Democrats hope for the FBI to draw any conclusions on this matter, I'm going to remind you what Joe Biden said. Now, I said this my statement, but maybe -- maybe people aren't listening when I say, and maybe they won't even hear this.
Joe Biden, quote, "The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn't understand anything. The FBI explicitly does not -- does not, in this or any other case, reach a conclusion. Period... They say 'He said, she said, and they said.' Period. So when people waive an FBI report before you," or even bring it up now as something prospectively -- I'm not -- that wasn't in his quote, "understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions... they do not make recommendations."
WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman?
(UNKNOWN): We need a break.
HATCH (?): No, don't take a break.
WHITEHOUSE: Mr. Chairman?
HATCH (?): Let me do this.
WHITEHOUSE: May I say for the record that, actually, we have asked? You said that nobody's asked the FBI, or we could ask the FBI. I actually have. I think others have. And I think that the issue is that part of what an FBI report does...
GRASSLEY: You want to take a break (ph)?
WHITEHOUSE: ... is to investigate and seek either corroborating or exculpatory evidence. It's not so much the conclusion that it draws as the breadth of the evidence that is sought out through the investigation and the difference between what somebody might say to an FBI agent when they're being examined, and for instance Mr. Judge's letter signed by his lawyer sent in. It's a -- it's just a different thing.
And I believe still that this is the first background investigation in the history of background investigations that hasn't been reopened when new credible derogatory information was raised about the subject, about the nominee. So I, you know, I just didn't want to let the point you made stand without...
GRASSLEY: Well, I'll -- I'll...
WHITEHOUSE: ... referencing the -- what we had tried to do.
GRASSLEY: ... Pardon me, but I'll just add to the point you made. The letter was sent to the FBI. The FBI sent it to the White House with a letter saying the case is closed.
We're taking a break now, for senator -- we're taking a break now.
[CNN COMMENTARY NEEDED HERE]
GRASSLEY: Judge, are you ready?
KAVANAUGH: I am ready. And can I say one thing?
KAVANAUGH: Just going to say I started my last colloquy by saying to Senator Klobuchar how much I respect her and respected what she did at the last hearing. And she asked me a question at the end that I responded by asking her a question and I didn't -- sorry, I did that. This is a tough process. I'm sorry about that.
KLOBUCHAR: I appreciate that. I -- I would like to add, when you have a parent that's a alcoholic, you're pretty careful about drinking.
And -- and the second thing is I was truly just trying to get the bottom of the facts and the evidence. And I, again, believe we do that by opening up the FBI investigation, and I would call it a background check instead of investigation. Thank you.
KAVANAUGH: Appreciate that.
GRASSLEY: Senator Hatch.
HATCH: Well, thank you.
Judge, welcome, we're happy to have you here. My friend from -- I'd just like to say a few words -- my friend from Arizona emphasized yesterday that we have before us today two human beings, Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. They deserve -- each of you deserves to be treated fairly and respectfully.
We tried to do that with Dr. Ford earlier and I think we succeeded. It's important that we treat Judge Kavanaugh fairly now. And it remains to be seen how that's going to work out.
Judge Kavanaugh has been a federal judge for 12 years. And he's been a great federal judge on the second-highest court in the nation. He's earned a reputation for fairness and decency. His clerks love him. His students he teaches in law school as well, his students love him. His colleagues love him. This man is not a monster, nor is he what has been represented here in these hearings.
We're talking today about Judge Kavanaugh's conduct in high school -- and even then, and as a freshman in college, I guess, as well. Serious allegations have been raised. If Judge Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, he should not serve on the Supreme Court; I think we'd all agree with that.
But the circus atmosphere that has been created since my Democratic colleagues first leaked Dr. Ford's allegations to the media two weeks ago -- after sitting on them for six weeks, I might add -- has brought us the worst in our politics. It certainly has brought us no closer to the truth. Anonymous letters with no name and no return address are now being treated as national news. Porn star lawyers with facially implausible claims are driving the news cycle.
I hate to say this, but this is worse than Robert Bork, and I didn't think it could get any worse than that. This is worse than Clarence Thomas. I didn't think it could get any worse than that. This is a national disgrace, the way you're being treated.
And in the middle of it all, we have Judge Kavanaugh, a man who until two weeks ago was a pillar of the legal community. There's been no whisper of misconduct by him in the time he's been a judge.
What we have are uncorroborated, unsubstantiated claims from his teenage years. Claims that every alleged eyewitness has either denied or failed to corroborate.
I do not mean to minimize the seriousness of the claims. Yes, they've been serious claims, but the search for truth has to involve more than bare assertions. Like Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh deserves fair treatment. He was an immature high schooler. So were we all. That he wrote or said stupid things sometimes does not make him a sexual predator.
I understand the desire of my colleagues to tear down this man at any costs. I do understand it. But let's at least be fair and look at the facts or the absence thereof. Guilt by association is wrong. Immaturity does not equal criminality. That Judge Kavanaugh drank in high school or college does not make him guilty of every terrible thing that he's recently been accused of.
A lifetime of respect and equal treatment ought to mean something when assessing allegations that are flatly inconsistent with the course of a person's entire adult life.
With those comments, Judge, I'd just like to ask you a few questions if I can about how -- and if you can be short in your answers, it'd help me get through a bunch of them -- about how this process has unfolded. When did you first learn of Dr. Ford's allegations against you?
KAVANAUGH: It was a week ago Sunday when -- the Washington Post Story.
HATCH: Isn't that amazing? Did the ranking member raise these allegations in your one-on-one meeting with her last month?
KAVANAUGH: She did not.
HATCH: Did the ranking member raise them at your public hearing earlier this month?
HATCH: Did the ranking member raise them at the closed session that followed the public hearing?
KAVANAUGH: She was not there.
HATCH: Did the ranking member or any of her colleagues raise them in the 1,300 written questions that were submitted to you following the hearing?
HATCH: When was the first time that the ranking member or her staff asked you about these allegations?
HATCH: When did you first hear of Ms. Ramirez's allegations against you?
KAVANAUGH: In the last -- in the period since then, the New Yorker story.
HATCH: Did the Ranking Member or any of her colleagues or any of their staffs ask you about Ms. Ramirez's allegations before they were leaked to the press?
HATCH: When was the first time that the ranking member or any of her colleagues or any of their staff asked you about Ms. Ramirez's allegations?
HATCH: I think it's a disgrace, between you and me.
GRASSLEY: Senator Coons.
COONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Judge Kavanaugh, today's hearing is about Dr. Ford's serious allegations about a sexual assault.
You have unequivocally denied those claims. But we're here today to assess her credibility and yours, and in our previous vigorous exchanges in the previous confirmation hearing rounds (ph), I -- I found that your answers, at times vigorously defended but at other times struck me as evasive or not credible on key issues. And it's against that backdrop that I'm seeking to assess your credibility today.
You said in your opening that rule of law means taking allegations seriously, and I agree with that. It brings me no joy to question you on these topics today, but I do think they're serious and I think they are worthy of our attention.
So let me, if I can, return to a line of questioning my colleague was on before, which was about whether you've ever gotten aggressive while drinking or forgotten an evening after drinking.
KAVANAUGH: Those are two different questions. I've already answered the second one. As to the first, I think the answer to that is basically no. I don't know really what you mean by that, like, what -- what are you talking about?
COONS: Well, the -- the reason I...
KAVANAUGH: I guess. I mean, I -- I don't mean it that way, but "no" is the basic answer, unless you're talking about something where -- that I -- I'm not aware that you're going to ask about.
COONS: The -- the reason I'm asking, we've had a very brief period of time to weigh outside evidence and I'll join my colleagues in saying I wish we had more evidence in front of us today to weigh. Do you remember Liz Swisher, a college classmate of yours from Yale?
KAVANAUGH: First, on your point about the outside evidence, you know, all four witnesses said...
COONS: Let -- let me focus, I'm trying to get this question if I (ph) -- if I could.
KAVANAUGH: I know, but you made a -- you made a point, and I just want to reemphasize: all four witnesses who were allegedly at the event have said it didn't happen, including Dr. Ford's longtime friend, Ms. Keyser, who said she's never...
COONS: That's right, and if Mark Judge -- if Mark Judge were in front of us today to question, we'd be able to assess his credibility.
KAVANAUGH: But he's (inaudible)...
COONS: Let me just get through -- this through if I can, Your Honor. Liz Swisher is a college classmate. She's now a medical doctor. And I'm quoting from a recent interview she gave. She said, Brett Kavanaugh drank more than a lot of people. He'd end up slurring his words, stumbling. It's not credible for him to say he's had no memory lapses in the nights he drank to excess. I know because I drank with him.
How should we assess that against (inaudible)
KAVANAUGH: She then goes on, if you -- if you kept reading, and says she actually can't point to any specific instance like that.
COONS: The quote that jumped out at me was, "Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him." There's also, in a separate setting...
KAVANAUGH: I don't think that -- I don't -- I do not think that's a fair characterization, and Chris Dudley's quoted in that article, and I would refer you to what Chris Dudley said. I spent more time with Chris Dudley in college than just about anyone, and I would refer you to what he said.
COONS: In other reporting, as I'm sure you know, a college classmate described you as relatively shy but said that when you drank you could be aggressive or even belligerent, and your roommate, as I think you discussed with Senator Klobuchar...
COONS: ...said you were frequently drunk. (inaudible)
KAVANAUGH: Yes, and that -- and that roommate -- that was freshman year roommate.
KAVANAUGH: And there was contention between him and the third person. There were three of us in a small room, and you should look at what I said in the redacted portion of the -- of the transcript about him, and you should assess his credibility with that in mind.
COONS: Put yourself in our shoes for a moment if you would, Judge, and I know that's asking a lot of you in this setting. But suppose you'd gone through a process to select someone for an incredibly important job in a position, you had a lot of qualified candidates, and as you're finishing the hiring process you learn of a credible allegation that, if true, would be disqualifying.
Wouldn't you either take a step back and conduct a thorough investigation or move to a different candidate? And why not agree to a one-week pause to allow the FBI to investigate all these allegations and allow you an opportunity a week from now to have the folks present in front of us for us to assess their credibility and for us to either clear your name or resolve these allegations by moving to a different nominee?
KAVANAUGH: All four witnesses who are alleged to be at the event said it didn't happen. Including Dr. Ford's long-time friend, Ms. Keyser, who said that she didn't know me and that she does not recall ever being at a party with me with or without Dr. Ford.
COONS: What I've struggled with, Judge Kavanaugh, is the absence of a fair, federal law enforcement driven, nonpartisan process to question the various people who I think are critical to this. My concern, should you move forward, is what it will do to the credibility of the court and how that may well hang over your service, I understand --
KAVANAUGH: Look sir, my reputation has been --
COONS: Your concern about this but I wish you would join us in calling for an FBI investigation for one week when you clear or confirm some of these allegations.
KAVANAUGH: When you say a week delay, you know how long the last 10 days have been?
COONS: Probably an eternity.
COONS: But in the Judge Thomas confirmation hearing (ph) --
KAVANAUGH: For us everyday --
COONS: It was a four day delay.
KAVANAUGH: has been a lifetime. And you know, yes, and it's been investigated and all four witnesses say it didn't happen. And they've said it under penalty of felony, and I've produced my calendars which show, you know, a lot -- that's important evidence and you act like -- I mean, the last 10 days I asked for a hearing the day after the allegation.
GRASSLEY: Before I call on Senator Lee, I want to emphasize something here that talking about doing something without a enough time -- we had 45 days between July 30 and September 13, I believe it is, when we could have been investigating this and in regard to this candidate if you take the average of 65 to 70 days between the time that a person is announced by the president, and the Senate votes on it -- is about 65 to 70 days and here we are at about 85 to 90 days.
So there's plenty of time put in on this nomination. Senator Lee -- oh no, wait a minute -- I got one other thing I wanted to -- everybody else has been putting letters in the record. I have a letter here from 65 women who knew Judge Kavanaugh between the years '79 and '83 -- the years he attended Georgetown Prep High School. These women wrote to the committee because they know Judge Kavanaugh and they know that the allegations raised by Dr. Ford are completely, totally inconsistent with his character. These 65 women know him through social events and church, many have remained close friends with him -- here's what they say partly quoting the letter.
"Through the more than 35 years we've known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character and integrity. He has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true in high school and it remains true to this day." In closing they wrote, "Judge Kavanaugh, has always been a good person," so without objection I put it in the record -- Senator Lee?
LEE: Judge Kavanaugh, you've been cooperative at every stage of this investigation both your background investigation and the investigation conducted by this committee, is that correct?
KAVANAUGH: That is correct, sir.
LEE: It's also correct that you yourself do not control the FBI or when it conducts an investigation, you are a nominee, you're not tasked with the job of deciding who, when, whether or how conduct an investigation?
KAVANAUGH: That's correct.
LEE: But at every moment when either we or prior to the committee taking jurisdiction over it, the FBI has asked you questions -- you've been attentive and you've been responsive, isn't that right?
KAVANAUGH: That is correct, throughout my career.
LEE: I have colleagues today who have repeatedly asked for an FBI investigation, and there are some ironies in this. Ironies that ascend at least two levels. In the first place, at least one of my colleagues -- at least one of them had access to this information many, many weeks before anyone else did -- had the ability and I believe the moral duty and obligation to report those facts to the FBI, at which point they could have and would have been investigated by the FBI.
And that could have been handled in such a way that didn't turn this in to a circus. One that has turned your life upside down, and that of your family -- and the life of Dr. Ford and her family upside down. I consider this most unfortunate given that this was entirely within the control of at least one of my Democratic colleagues to do this.
The second level of irony here is that while calling repeatedly for an investigation by the FBI, an investigation over which you have no ability to control, by the way -- an investigation you have no authority to call for. While calling for an investigation we're in the middle of a conversation that involves questions to you.
So I ask my Democratic colleagues, if you have questions for Judge Kavanaugh, ask him. He's right here. If that's really what you want is the truth, ask him questions right now. If you have questions of other witnesses, then for the love of all that is sacred and holy -- participate in the committee investigations that have been going on, as you have not been participating with the committee staff investigating the outside witnesses.
If someone really were interested in the truth this is what they would do. They would participate in the investigation, and when we have a committee investigation, a committee hearing with live witnesses -- they would talk about that rather than something else they wish they were having in front of them.
If what they want is a search for the truth, then now is their choice. If on the other hand what they want to do is delay this until after the election -- which at least one of my colleagues on the Democratic side as acknowledged, then that might be what they would do. Finally I want to point out that there is significant precedent from our former Chairman of this committee, Chairman Joe Biden.
During the Clarence Thomas hearings, nearly three decades ago Chairman Biden made some interesting observations about FBI reports and their role in this process. Here's what he said, "the next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything -- obviously doesn't understand anything. The FBI explicitly does not in this, or any other case, reach a conclusion. Period. Period."
Those are his dual periods, not mine, I continue the quote, "The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report -- you would not like it if we did, because it is inconclusive," so when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not -- they do not -- they do not reach conclusions. They do not make, as my friend points out more accurately, they do not make recommendations.
In other words, the role of the FBI is to flag issues, those issues have been flagged. Sadly, in this case they were flagged -- not as they should have been. Not in the timing in which they should have been.
And therefore they couldn't have been addressed in the manner that would have preserved a lot more dignity for you, for your family and for Dr. Ford and her family. They were instead held out until the final moment. I consider that most unfortunate, and for that, on behalf of this committee, I extend to you my most profound sympathies and my most profound sympathies to Dr. Ford and her family as well.
SASSE: Mr. Chairman, since we don't have enough slots for everyone could I have the last minute of Senator Lee, so that Senator Kennedy can be recognized? Judge, we did 38 hours in public with you. Did we have any private hearings with you?
SASSE: Was that a fun time for you? When people -- Senators could ask questions that are awkward or uncomfortable about potential alcoholism, potential gambling addiction, credit card debt, if your buddies floated you money to buy baseball tickets -- did you enjoy that time we spend in here late one night? KAVANAUGH: I'm always happy to cooperate with the committee.
SASSE: That's charitable. Were you ever asked about any sexual allegations when we had that time in here with you alone?
SASSE: Did the ranking member already have these allegations for, I guess, this would have been September 6 or 7, and the letter was written on July 30th?
A -- a recommendation was made by ranking member or her staff to Dr. Ford -- and, by the way, I think Dr. Ford is a victim, and I think she's been through hell and I'm very sympathetic to her -- but, did the ranking member's staff, did we hear today, make a recommendation to hire a lawyer and she knew all that?
And yet we had a hearing here with you and none of these things were asked. But then, once the process was closed, once the FBI investigation was closed, once we were done meeting in public and in private, then this was sprung on you. I just want to make sure I have the dates correct, right?
Because we've got 35-plus days from all the time that this evidence was in the hands, recommendations were made to an outside lawyer. You could have handled all this, we could have had this conversation in private, in a way that didn't -- not only do crap to his family, but do all -- I yield my time.
SASSE: Trying to see if he could do math about 35 days. That was a little bit of a question.
KAVANAUGH: ... Thank you.
GRASSLEY: (OFF-MIKE) Senator Blumenthal.
BLUMENTHAL: Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
Good afternoon, Judge Kavanaugh. As a federal judge, you're aware of the jury instruction falsus in -- in unibus (sic), falsus in omnibus, are you not? You're aware of that jury instruction?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, I'm -- I am.
BLUMENTHAL: You know what it means?
KAVANAUGH: You can translate it for me, senator. You can do it better than I can.
BLUMENTHAL: False in one thing, false in everything. Meaning in jury instructions that we -- some of us as prosecutors have heard many times, is -- told the jury that they can disbelieve a witness if they find them to be false in one thing.
So the core of why we're here today really is credibility. Let me talk...
KAVANAUGH: But (ph) the core of why we're here is an allegation for which the four witnesses present have all said it didn't happen.
BLUMENTHAL: Let me ask you about Renate Dolphin who lives in Connecticut. She thought these yearbook statements were, quote, "Horrible, hurtful and simply untrue." end quote, because Renate Alumnus clearly implied some boast of sexual conquest.
And that's the reason that you apologized to her, correct?
KAVANAUGH: That's false, speaking about the yearbook and she -- she said she and I never had any sexual interaction. So your question...
KAVANAUGH: ... your question is false and I've addressed that in the opening statement. And so, your question is based on a false premise and really does great harm to her. I don't know why you're bringing this up, frankly, doing great harm to her. By even bringing her name up here is really unfortunate.
BLUMENTHAL: Well, calling someone an alumnus in that way, was actually interpreted...
KAVANAUGH: Well, implying what you're implying what you're implying about...
BLUMENTHAL: ... by a number of your football friends at the time of boasting of sexual conquest. That's the reason that I'm bringing it up. And it conflicts...
KAVANAUGH: Yes. No, it's false.
BLUMENTHAL: ... with...
KAVANAUGH: You're implying that. Look what you're bringing up right now about her. Look what you're doing.
BLUMENTHAL: ... Mr. Chairman, I ask that...
KAVANAUGH: Don't bring her name up.
BLUMENTHAL: ... these interruptions not be subtracted from my time.
GRASSLEY: Very well (ph). Ask your question and then let...
KAVANAUGH: She's a great person. She's always been a great person. We never had any sexual interaction. By bringing this up, you're just -- just dragging her through the mud. It's just unnecessary.
GRASSLEY: Proceed, Senator Blumenthal (ph).
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You've made reference, judge, to a sworn statement I believe by Mark Judge to the committee. Is that correct?
KAVANAUGH: I made reference to what Mark Judge's lawyer sent to the committee.
BLUMENTHAL: You know (ph), it's not a sworn statement, is it?
KAVANAUGH: It would -- under penalty of felony.
BLUMENTHAL: Well, it's a statement signed by his lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder. It is six cursory and conclusory sentences. Are you saying that that is a substitute for an investigation by the FBI or some interview by the FBI under oath?
KAVANAUGH: Under penalty of felony, he said that this kind of event didn't happen and that I never did or would have done something like that. And...
BLUMENTHAL: As a federal judge, you always want the best evidence don't you?
KAVANAUGH: ... Senator, he has said and all the witnesses present -- look at Ms. Keyser's statement, she's
BLUMENTHAL: Let me...
KAVANAUGH: Dr. Ford's longtime friend...
BLUMENTHAL: ... let me move on to another topic. You've testified to this committee this morning -- this afternoon, quote, "This whole two- week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups."
Is it your testimony that the motivation of the courageous woman who sat where you did just a short time ago was revenge on behalf of a left-wing conspiracy or the Clintons?
KAVANAUGH: Senator, I said in my opening statement that she preferred confidentially. And her confidentially was -- was destroyed by the actions of this committee.
BLUMENTHAL: Let me ask you this, in a speech that you gave at Yale you -- you described, quote, "Falling out of the bus onto the front steps of the Yale Law School at 4:45 a.m." and...
KAVANAUGH: I wasn't...
BLUMENTHAL: ... then...
KAVANAUGH: ... I wasn't describing me. I organized...
BLUMENTHAL: ... trying to... KAVANAUGH: ... Senator. Senator, let me finish, please. I organized a third-year end of school party for 30 of my classmates to rent a bus to go to Fenway Park in Boston, which was about a three-hour trip.
I bought all the tickets. You and I have discussed that before. I bought all the baseball tickets. I rented the bus. I organized the whole trip.
We went to Fenway Park. Roger Clemens was pitching for the Red Sox. We had a great time. George Brett was playing third base for the Royals -- actually, he was playing left field that night. And he -- and we went to the game, and got back, and then we went out. It was a great night of friendship.
BLUMENTHAL: I -- I apologize for interrupting, judge, but I need to finish the quote before I ask you the question...
KAVANAUGH: I wasn't talking about...
BLUMENTHAL: ... The quote ends...
GRASSLEY: OK, we'll let (ph)...
BLUMENTHAL: ... the quote ends that you tried to, quote, "piece things back together," end quote, to recall what happened that night. Meaning...
KAVANAUGH: I know what happened.
BLUMENTHAL: ... Well, you...
GRASSLEY: Judge, let -- will you quickly answer your question? And then I'm going to let him answer you...
KAVANAUGH: I know what -- I know what happened that night.
BLUMENTHAL: I'll finish asking my question...
GRASSLEY: Please, go ahead...
BLUMENTHAL: ... your honor (ph).
GRASSLEY: ... but do it quickly.
BLUMENTHAL: Doesn't that imply to you that you had to piece things back together, you had to ask others what happened that night?
KAVANAUGH: No, it...
GRASSLEY: OK. You -- you take your time now and answer the question.
KAVANAUGH: ... Yes.
GRASSLEY: And then, Senator Crapo. KAVANAUGH: Definitely not. I know exactly what happened that night. It was a great night of fun. I was so happy that -- it was great camaraderie. Everyone looks back fondly on the trip to Fenway Park. And then we went out together, a group of classmates. And I know exactly what happened the whole night. And I'm happy.
BLUMENTHAL: Judge, do you -- do you believe Anita Hill?
GRASSLEY: Senator -- Senator Crapo.
GRAHAM?: (OFF-MIKE) Time is up (ph). Your time is up (ph).
GRASSLEY: Senator Crapo.
CRAPO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And Judge Kavanaugh, first, I want to get into this whole question that's been bandied back and forth here, almost endlessly today, about the FBI investigation process.
Because I think it's -- I want to follow up a little bit on what Senator Lee and Senator Sasse have referenced.
There's been a lot of talk here about, "We need an FBI investigation." In these processes, which you've been through a number of times now, when the FBI does a background check with regard to a nomination, could you quickly describe that for us? What does the FBI do?
KAVANAUGH: The FBI gathers statements from people who have information. They don't resolve credibility, they gather the information and the credibility determination is made by the ultimate fact-finder, which in this case is the United States Senate.
The committee, of course, hears gathered evidence.
CRAPO: And the FBI then gives that report to the White House, if I understand it? And the White House then transfers it to the Senate? Is that the -- the...
KAVANAUGH: That's my understanding, yes.
CRAPO: ... control? And as you indicated, it does not do then -- it's been said many times here today. The FBI does not make judgments, it gives the Senate committee information.
At that point in time, if I understand the process correctly, the Senate -- the United States Senate Judiciary Committee -- has legal authorities. If it receives information in an FBI report that it wants to further investigate, the Senate has legal authority to conduct a further investigation. Is that correct?
KAVANAUGH: That's my understanding.
CRAPO: And that is what has been referenced here many times, about -- how some of these witnesses that were identified in the very late information that we received, have made statements that are under penalty of felony. That's a felony for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And as I understand it, what happens is, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has authority under law to conduct those kinds of investigations, follows up on the FBI reports to finish out the investigation that it wants with regard to any information that it receives that needs further investigation. Is that your understanding of the process?
KAVANAUGH: That's my understanding, Senator.
CRAPO: Now in this case, there's been a lot of talk here today -- and if I have time, I'll get into it. It looks like I'll run out of time -- but in this case, there's a lot of concern by many that there was not so much an interest in an FBI investigation as there was in delay.
I'm not going to get to that unless I have time. I want to talk about what happened in the Senate committee's investigation. Because as I understand it -- and this may be more of a question to the chairman -- as soon as we received information, which was about 45 days after others on the committee received it, we conducted an investigation.
Is that correct, Mr. Chairman? I'm sorry to turn the questioning to you, but we began that legal Senate Judiciary Committee investigation.
CRAPO: And that investigation involved our fully lawfully enabled investigators to conduct an investigation. And if I understand it correctly, the Democratic members of the committee refused to participate in that investigation.
CRAPO: And so we have conducted the investigation. The very kinds of things that my colleagues on the other side are asking that we tell the FBI to do, this committee has the authority to do it and this committee does it, and this committee has done it.
Now there may be more demands for more interviews and more investigation. But when you, Judge Kavanaugh, have referenced the testimony that has come from those who were supposed -- who were identified as -- as being at this event, the testimony that has been received from them is information that has been received pursuant to a Senate committee investigation.
And I just think it should be made clear. I think there's been a lot of back and forth here about, "Oh, we're not getting information, we're not looking at this. You don't want to look into the investigation, you don't want to see what happened."
The reality is that this committee immediately and thoroughly investigated every witness that has been identified to us. And we have statements under penalty of felony from them. So I just want to conclude with that. I got 45 seconds left, so I'm gonna just ask you one quick question. Again, on timing.
You had a meeting with Senator Feinstein on August 20th?
KAVANAUGH: It's my understanding, yeah. Well -- I had a meeting, and that's my understanding of the date.