Return to Transcripts main page
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake asked for another FBI Background Investigation On Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Christine Blasey Ford And Brett Kavanaugh Appeared In From Of Senate Judiciary Committee; Kelly Thomas Who Was Injured In A Roll Over Truck Accident Now Can Walk Again. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 29, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.
The political whirlwind swirling around President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court will stop for at least a week. That is because Jeff Flake, a Republican on the judiciary committee, changed his mind yesterday and decided not to support Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation in the full Senate until the FBI takes a closer look at the sexual assault accusations against him.
Now President Trump still has confident that Kavanaugh will reach the Supreme Court, but he agreed to this one week delay. And he ordered the FBI to get started on a new investigation.
Let's bring in our legal and national security analyst, Asha Rangappa. She is also a former FBI special agent.
So Asha, these are some pretty specific marching orders here from the President, the words limited in scope, very short time line to wrap it up, just one week. What is happening with your former FBI agents right now? Is it frantic?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think it is frantic. The FBI will put enough agents on this supplemental check to be able to go and interview all of the relevant people who may have information relating to this specific allegation.
My understanding is that the FBI can also investigate any credible allegation, so you know, whether these generate other leads or if they are also going to interview other women that have come forward, that's a possibility. But essentially what they are going to do is they are going to start first with the group of people who are alleged to have been involved in the incident or present. And then from there, likely get potential leads of other people that may have known about it, heard about it, and kind of move a little outwards to see whether they can find any corroborating information or if they don't find anything at all to corroborate it.
CABRERA: And when it comes to potential evidence, I have heard some reference to calendar that could be a piece that is analyze further, would they also be doing door knocks right now? What types of physical things would they be doing? Paint the picture a little more. if you will.
RANGAPPA: Well, it is important to remember that background checks are administrative. This is run out of the administrative division of the FBI. These are not criminal investigations. They are not designed to collect evidence. So, you know, I think that the calendar may be a starting point in terms of identifying people who may be of interest for the FBI to speak with who may know about events that occurred in that time frame, specifically with Judge Kavanaugh. But you know, they are not going to be sending the calendar to be forensically analyzed or, you know, or things like that. I mean, they are really going to be talking to people. This is what they do in background checks. Getting information from people to provide some context. Possibly to include things like the Judge's character at this time, his drinking habits, his reputation for his interaction with women that could paint a bigger picture, but I think that's about as broad as they are going to go.
And it is important to also remember that these people that they are going to interview have no obligation to speak with the FBI. So if these people choose to not speak with the FBI, the FBI would simply record that and make note of it and they don't have any power to, for example, compel people to speak to them.
CABRERA: I mean, one potentially key witness here is Mark Judge. He is the other person that Ford says was in the room during the assault. Judge says he will answer any and all questions posed to him in this investigation. He is not required to cooperate as you point out, Asha, but he says he is going to. How does an investigator test him and his statements to determine whether he is telling them the truth?
RANGAPPA: Well, in Mark Judge's case, you know, Ana, he has actually written a book about his time in high school and his pattern of drinking and the issues that that raised for him. So in some ways they already have an account of his time in high school. And I think that would be one way to kind of test and look at what the culture was. They will obviously ask about this specific incident.
But you know, this is again, when they take the interviews they are going to document them on something called a 302. A 302 is a testimonial document which essentially records whatever the witness or interviewee says. There's no editorializing. There is no conclusions that are drawn by the agent doing the interview.
So in the end, all of these thin things, accounts that are given by these various parties, will ultimately be presented to the decision makers, in this case the Senate Judiciary Committee, to evaluate how to weight them, what credibility to give these various people. And if they want to call any of those people in directly, they can subpoena them if they wish for further questioning.
[16:05:02] CABRERA: Would any of this be made public or who makes that decision?
RANGAPPA: I think in this case because the consumer would be either the White House that hands it to the Judiciary Committee or it is going directly to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is not clear kind of where directly this is going to go. It would be in their hands.
I think that there might be some public pressure to make these accounts public, but I think it would be in the hands of either of White House or the Judiciary Committee or both.
CABRERA: So let me ask you this. Because during his testimony when Kavanaugh was asked over and over again whether he himself wanted an independent investigation into the claims, here's how he answered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (R), ILLINOIS: Judge Kavanaugh, will you support an FBI investigation right now?
JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I will do whatever the committee wants personally.
DURBIN: Do you think that's the best thing for us to do? You won't answer?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So he went on to say well, whatever they want to do. And then he kept pointing to what the statements had previously been provided said.
Given your experience as an investigator what's your take away when someone refuses to give a direct answer to questions?
RANGAPPA: It is concerning. It can be a sign of deception. You know, I don't think it necessarily can conclude guilt, but I think it is telling that he is not interested or doesn't seem to be enthusiastic about the FBI looking into this further.
Presumably, if there's nothing to find, I think that could potentially be exonerating for the judge. The FBI would go and interview numerous people who would come up with nothing. And I think that would be from his point of view. It should be helpful in the sense that it would clear his name. So I find it incredibly, you know, concerning that he was not willing to answer that question directly and actually wasn't advocating for this himself.
CABRERA: One more question for you, Asha, before I let you go because a lot of people have asked me in all of the social media traffic that we have seen over the last couple of days. There have been a couple of classmates who have come forward who went to Yale with Kavanaugh, who drank with him at different parties, who have said he wasn't forthcoming, he wasn't truthful. In fact, one woman said they were blatant lies that he was telling about his drinking in college and even before perhaps, but in college what they witnessed and whether he could have drank to the point of blacking out. If that is not -- if he wasn't truthful, could he be in any legal jeopardy?
RANGAPPA: Well, Ana, that raises a separate issue about whether he lied under oath and of course that can be a crime. It could also and I think should also be a potentially disqualifying, you know, thing for a nominee for the Supreme Court, but whether or not the Judiciary Committee wants to act on that as a separate matter from the allegation itself again is up to that committee.
They are the ultimate arbiters of how to weight this information, how important it is for his fitness is for the Supreme Court. But you know, as an investigator, typically when you find that people are deceptive about some things, it becomes very hard to credit what they say about other things, especially with the lies that they are saying is about relatively inconsequential matters. It does call into question what they may be saying about more serious things.
CABRERA: Got you.
OK, Asha Rangappa, it is good to have you. Thank you so much. We appreciate your expertise.
President Trump handling this in stride, ordering the FBI investigation. This is all before he heads to a campaign rally in just a few hours in West Virginia.
White House correspondent Boris Sanchez is there in Wheeling.
Boris, the President breaking the mold on this new Brett Kavanaugh developments, the delays, the new investigation. He is not saying much at all. Will that change later when he takes the podium?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's what we all all be watching for later tonight here in Wheeling, West Virginia, Ana.
As you know, the President has shown some restraint with rare exception when it comes to talking about the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. That rare exception of course coming last week when the President tweeted asking why had it taken so long to come forward with the allegations against Kavanaugh.
We reported last week that top Republicans including senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had reached out to President Trump to tell him that those tweets, those questions about Ford were not helping. Since then President Trump has been relatively restrained and diplomatic.
Last week he actually said that he believed that Ford's testimony was credible. He also went as far to say that she appeared to be a fine person. Despite that, President Trump is standing by his man, standing by the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.
He wrote last night on twitter quote "just started tonight our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He will someday be recognized as a truly great justice of the United States Supreme Court."
Now, it should come as no surprise that sources have told CNN that the President is unhappy about this delay in the confirmation process. Those sources telling us that he blames Arizona senator Jeff Flake and Democrats for this delay. We will see if President Trump mentions Jeff Flake by name here in West Virginia. Of course, as you know, Ana, the two have a colorful history. No
question though that he will attack Democrats, including possibly West Virginia senator Joe Manchin. He is here, of course, campaigning for his rival in the midterm election, Pat Morrissey, Ana.
[16:10:54] CABRERA: Right. And Boris, the President has not always been flattering in his public opinion of the FBI, but he seems to be comfortable ordering this new investigation. Confident that his nominee will survive it.
SANCHEZ: Yes. It is quite the interesting scenario here. President Trump for almost since the beginning of his presidency, his attack, the justice department and the FBI, what he believes to be a deep state rooted in those institutions that tried to derail his agenda. And that he believes and tried to remove him from the White House. And now he is essentially relying on the FBI to get information that could lead to the confirmation or ultimately the withdrawal of his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Of course whether that happens or not we have yet to see, Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez there in West Virginia. Thank you.
A frightening scene playing out at a beach in California when a 13- year-old boy gets attacked by a shark. Details next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:16:28] CABRERA: Now to a terrifying shark attack in California. A 13-year-old boy was lobster diving this morning when the shark bit his upper torso causing traumatic injuries. This happened at a beach in Encinitas, California which is about 30 minutes outside of San Diego. Three bystanders came to his rescue and amazingly, the good Samaritans included an off duty lifeguard and an off duty police officer. Officials say the teen was talking when he was airlifted to the hospital. His condition right now, however, is unknown.
No doubt Senator Jeff Flake went out on a political limb calling for another FBI background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. So how are his constituents reacting to Flake's 11th hour move on the Supreme Court nominee?
CNN's Dan Simon is then looking into that question. He is in the senator's home state of Arizona.
Dan, we know Flake is not running for reelection. So what are his constituents saying?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Ana.
As you can imagine, the reaction here has been mixed. The most visible reaction we have seen has been actually here outside his office in Phoenix. Yesterday, we saw a host of women dressed as hand maids. They were voicing their objection or they wanted Jeff Flake to vote against Brett Kavanaugh. Obviously, the mood changed a bit when he forced a seven day delay. And today, we did see a handful of college Republicans show up here obviously voicing their disapproval of what Jeff Flake has done.
In the meantime, in terms of how ultimately his decision will land with Republicans in Arizona, one political consultant telling us not very well. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Jeff Flake's move calling for this delay, how is that sitting with constituents in Arizona?
STAN BARNES, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I think Jeff is having a bad day back home. I don't think he can show his face in the local grocery store right now. I think it is a fresh wound. I think he is out of step with his own hometown constituency that think rightly or wrongly that Kavanaugh is being smeared by the Democrats unfairly and Jeff, senator Flake, is enabling the smear by going with the one week delay. So back home, I think he is out of step with his constituency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Well, we don't know what Jeff Flake is doing this weekend, if he returned to his home state of Arizona. As you alluded to, he has been a polarizing figure in Arizona because of criticism he has lobbed at President Trump. It is against that backdrop that he decided not to run for reelection. He probably would not have won the primary here. So, obviously, he is exerting some independence given the fact that he is a lame duck senator and did what he did. Some have remarked that he is now acting like -- much like his former colleague, the late Senator John McCain, acting like a maverick -- Ana.
CABRERA: Dan Simon in Phoenix of us, thank you.
Jeff Flake's (INAUDIBLE) on the seventh FBI background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh was the culmination of just a remarkable string of events. He went from saying he would vote for Kavanaugh around 9:30 on Friday morning to a couple hours later demanding an FBI investigation before the final vote.
Now what happened in between? A confrontation as Flake entered an elevator. Over minutes, Flake was subjected to the desperation of protesters. Here is just a portion of what he heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:20:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what you are telling all women in America, that they don't matter, they should keep it to themselves, because if they have told the truth, they are just going to help that man to power anyway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Those two women who confronted him say they themselves are sexual assault survivors. But later, when "the Atlantic" asked Flake if the protesters in the
elevator changed his mind. He said quote "I was just unsettled. You know, when I got back to the committee, I saw the food fight between the parties. The Democrats say they are going to walk out. The Republicans blame everything on the Democrats." Well, he went on to say keep in mind their agenda may be different than mine. I think some of their concern was how Kavanaugh would rule on the court. They may have been there prior to the allegations against him because of his position on some issues, but it certainly struck a chord.
Let's get more perspective now from someone who covers Arizona politics. Joining us now is Dan Nowicki. He is a national political reporter for "the Arizona Republic."
Dan, you covered Flake a lot. Were you surprised by how things played out yesterday?
DAN NOWICKI, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Yes, a little surprised, even though it was kind of classic Jeff Flake at least for the past couple of years. I started covering Flake when he first joined Congress in 2001. So I watched his career kind of grow and watched his political profile get bigger and bigger. He joined the Senate in 2012. And he has had kind of a frustrating first term. It is going to turn out to be his only term, especially for the past two years where he has kind of been, you know, sort of a senator without a party. You know, he has crossed ways with President Trump, so the Trump Republicans don't trust him or like him, see him as an annoyance. And he is not really tough enough, you know, for the Democrats on the liberal side to appreciate him as a maverick, you know.
He certainly stands up to Trump from time to time. He has given several floor speeches denouncing Trump for one thing or another. Lots of tweets. But I think from the left, they kind of view him as all talk and no action whereas the Republicans see him as kind of a rhino undercutting Trump all the time.
So this is kind of an interesting situation. He found himself in the middle again. He sort of like kind of went along with the Democrats to ensure this week-long delay, but he is also kind of signaling, you know, that he is possibly in the end going to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. I think he signaled that he is kind of concerned about the institution, the Senate itself. He doesn't like the way the hearings went, kind of the very divisive ranker that he says is tearing the institution apart.
CABRERA: Well, it seemed like all of this was tearing him apart. When you take a look at this photo that's just about everywhere. Here it is. I mean, if you have your monitor, I am sure you have also seen this already. But he has a look of anguish on his face as he is surrounded by these other Republican members. I mean, it looks like he was really torn up about this.
NOWICKI: Right. Jeff Flake is definitely a senator with a conscience. And I guess there's a question if there's room in politics for a senator with a conscience. This weighs on him. I think he wants to do the right thing. I think he understands his time is running out in the Senate. I think he wants something, some sort of legacy that he can be proud of. I don't think he wants to end it on a note that, you know, kind of feels bad.
CABRERA: Yes. He is not running for reelection but he hasn't ruled out the possibility of running for President. How much do you think that may factor in his decision making this week?
NOWICKI: Well, it is kind of hard to say. If you are kind of using a calculus of Presidential politics, you might say he would be better off doing, you know, one side or the other kind of, you know, standing up and saying he is going to vote against Kavanaugh. Obviously, would give him a lot of attention when he returns to New Hampshire on Monday. He lives in New Hampshire. Back in March, I covered his appearance there.
So he is definitely, you know, has been flirting with a possible Presidential run. I don't know how this is going to play out. Republicans in New Hampshire when I was up there in the spring didn't really know much about Jeff Flake. And you know, a lot of them are very much, you know, in line with Trump.
CABRERA: As you point out, he has been one of the President's loudest Republican critics. And yet he still votes with Trump the majority of the time. How do you think conservatives, particularly female voters, view this move by Flake?
NOWICKI: Well, I don't know. I think they are probably a little skeptical of him, you know. Just kind of, you know, just a way to kind of postpone things for a week. Try to make himself feel better that he did was due diligence. And the senate, you know, is working sort of the way it used to or, you know, I don't know. I guess it kind of depends on what he ultimately does a week from now. Is he going to just go ahead and vote with the Republicans for Kavanaugh, even after the delay and this FBI investigation?
CABRERA: We will see. Dan Nowicki, thanks for the insight. We appreciate it.
[16:25:01] NOWICKI: Thanks, Ana.
Their testimony riveted America. But there were clear differences in the tone of remarks from Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.
Up next, how gender dynamics played a part in this week's hearing.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:30:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Professor Christine Blasey Ford was terrified. Judge Brett Kavanaugh was defiant. Ford was soft- spoken. Not once did she raise her voice. Kavanaugh turned up the volume. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER: I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified.
BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. What goes around comes around.
BLASEY FORD: Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D), MINNESOTA: 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: You're asking about blackout. I don't know. Have you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question, Judge? So that's not happened? Is that your answer?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, and I'm curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining me now, Haley Edwards, senior correspondent for "Time" magazine, and former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, author of "And Justice for Some."
Haley, let me start with you.
Let's talk tone. Kavanaugh has been praised by many conservatives for showing anger, for being on the attack, for interrupting only Democratic Senators. Do you think a woman would have been received in the same way?
HALEY EDWARDS, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: Absolutely not. I think it was just a real textbook case of sort of this overwhelming masculinity. It wasn't only the anger, wasn't only the we've all seen the clips of the tight face and nostrils and reddened tear-streaked fury. But there was this constant good old boy -- talked about playing football practice, Red Sox by name, talked about lifting weights, loving beer. That's something that constantly came back. It was this anger combined with this sense of righteousness.
CABRERA: Wendy, I wonder, are these raw, natural reactions from two people, one who says she has been sexual assaulted, one who says he is wrongly accused, or are gender dynamics at play?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR & AUTHOR: Maybe a little of all of that. I suppose there's a part of him that felt rightly angry at the accusations, not necessarily because he is innocent, but because he thinks these are so old, and how dare they -- sort of what Lindsey Graham said, how dare these things come up all these years later and I have a right to be angry. The problem is, if I was his attorney, I would say do anything but act angry, because then people will say, which was my reaction, that's a guy who looks just like the kind of person who could have sexual assaulted women. Because aggression, anger, rage, especially the indignation, and the audacity to ask Senator Klobuchar a question about her drinking, are you kidding me? When he did that, I thought, wow, he just lost. He just lost, because that's the kind of entitlement and arrogance that research tells us is consistent with high-incidence rates of sexual assaults. It was really inappropriate. I practiced in federal court. If I had behaved in front of him the way he behaved in front of the Judiciary Committee, he would have thrown me in jail for contempt. It was that bad. It was that bad. On that basis alone, I think he should have never been let out of committee, the nomination never let out of committee. But I think the response of the public, even if you like his politics and ideology and judicial philosophy, the response of the public has been, wow, this man does not have the temperament to be a judge, period.
CABRERA: Yet, I'm looking at the president's tweet right after that, in which he writes, "Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, riveting."
He obviously interpreted it in a much different way.
Let me move the conversation forward. I want to look at the picture from Professor Ford's perspective. She's looking at this wall of men behind the prosecutor, Mitchell, Rachel Mitchell, who was brought in to question her on their behalf.
Haley, do you think Republicans made a mistake not addressing Ford at all?
EDWARDS: I think it was an interesting decision. You can understand why they did it. You had 11 male Senators, male Republican Senators, all white men basically. It is a little too on the nose when we compare memories of the Anita Hill hearing. And I think that they were looking to avoid that from just the pure optics alone. I don't think that they got what they expected out of Rachel Mitchell. I think they were expecting something more combative, maybe prosecutorial. What they got was a very patient, plodding interrogation that was very fact-based, and it allowed Dr. Ford to look really calm, measured, consistent in her testimony.
[16:35:27] CABRERA: The day before the hearing, the president was asked, what is your message to young men. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about the message you may be sending to young men? You're a father. What does this moment that we're in, the cultural moment?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is a very big cultural moment.
TRUMP: It's a very big --
TRUMP: You're right. You're right. I think it is a great question. This is a very big moment for our country, because you have a man who is very outstanding, but he's got very strong charges against him. Probably charges that nobody is going to be able to prove. So I could have you chosen for a position. I could have you or you, anybody. And somebody could say -- and it's happened to me, many times, where false statements are made. And honestly, nobody knows who to believe. I could pick another Supreme Court judge, justice, I could pick another one, another one, another one. This could go on forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Wendy, what was your take away from that answer?
MURPHY: Look, if the best that Judge Kavanaugh can say about his performance is that President Trump liked it, I would say things are not looking good, stick a fork in him, he's done. Because President Trump has a tin ear to the interests and rights of women in America. Period. And if President Trump thinks it is appropriate to say anyone, at any time, can be subjected to these kinds of false allegations, and if he thinks women are going to take that, take that and just sort of go, oh, well, this is a 50/50 competition, no. Here's what women know. False allegations are extremely rare. The president should know that as well. That's what he should be saying as the leader of our country, a leader of women and men. And this is not a "he said/she said," President Trump. This is a "he said/three said." Three women, thus far, saying that Judge Kavanaugh engaged in serious sexual misconduct. Why should it take the words of three women to make a simple point, which is that some men, not all men, some men should not sit in the highest court in this nation passing judgment on issues that are important to women in this country. Is it asking a lot that the Supreme Court should be filled with people of integrity who haven't hurt women, who don't refer to women as liars, and don't refer to sexual assault as a joke? Is that asking too much? That's what I would say to President Trump. Can you not find a nominee who hasn't committed a sexual assault? Really?
CABRERA: Haley, I want your thoughts on the question he was asked, which is, what is your message to young men or boys in this country. What should he have said? What should the message be?
EDWARDS: It is a really great question right now because I think there's so much discussion about young women, and you have young women coming forward who were assaulted in high school, there's a lot of discussion around that perspective. But the assaults, by and large, are not happening by other young women. They're happening by young men, and men of all ages. How do we talk to our sons about that? How do we talk about the vulnerabilities of many young women or how your actions can be perceived and how those interactions between the sexes can be fraught in so many ways we see out of the "Me Too" movement? I think there's just a beautiful reckoning going on in this country now, that there's so many opportunities to be having intelligent conversations about how we should treat each other, and what respect means, and how to reconcile that. I don't think the president went there. It is a red herring to say anyone can be subject to these allegations. False allegations, as Wendy said, are incredibly rare. And we just saw Justice Gorsuch sail through with no allegations.
CABRERA: -- which is also something worth pointing out.
Ladies, thank you so much. I have to say, as a mother myself, who has a son, my message to him is be respectful of women and everybody. I think it is as simple as that.
Thank you both. Really appreciate it.
[16:40:01 We're back in a moment.
CABRERA: We are learning the FBI's investigation into Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh will include allegations by Deborah Ramirez, along with the claims of sexual assault leveled by Christine Blasey Ford. Ramirez -- see her picture there -- she claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were at Yale together at another party.
Here is CNN's Brian Todd with more on the other accusers and their claims.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their names came up during the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. Two other Kavanaugh accusers. One is Julie Swetnik, whose lawyer says he's heartened that Senator Dianne Feinstein read her allegations. SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D), CALIFORNIA: She recounted seeing Kavanaugh engage, and I quote, "in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls."
TODD: In a declaration released through her lawyer, Swetnick claims Kavanaugh was present at a high school party around 1982 where she was the victim of a gang rape. She did not identify Kavanaugh as one of her attackers.
JULIE SWETNICK, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER: From what I experienced firsthand, I don't think he belongs on the Supreme Court. I just want the facts to come out. And I want it to be just. And I want the American people to have those facts and judge for themselves.
KAVANAUGH: Also, ninth grade --
TODD: Swetnick's lawyer tells CNN she watched Thursday's hearing from a private location.
There's Deborah Ramirez. In an interview with the "New Yorker," Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party at Yale University in the 1980s. [16:45:04] FEINSTEIN: She recalls pushing him away and then seeing
him laughing and pulling his pants up.
TODD: Kavanaugh vehemently denies both women's allegations.
KAVANAUGH: I've never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not in college, not ever.
The Swetnik thing is a joke. That is a farce.
TODD: Lawyers for both Swetnik and Ramirez sparred with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Republicans accusing the women's lawyers of stone-walling requests for information.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R-IA), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: And they've made no attempt to substantiate their claims.
TODD: The lawyers for the women denying that, saying they want to testify.
Now a key question, with the Judiciary Committee vote still scheduled for Friday, and the full Senate vote slated for Tuesday, will these two accusers ever appear in the Senate?
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR & COLUMNIST, REALCLEARPOLITICS: I don't think there's any chance that Republicans are going to give another forum like this to the other two accusers.
GRASSLEY: Do you swear that the --
TODD: Analysts say Senate Republicans have viewed Ford as the most credible accuser.
Swetnik was herself accused of domestic violence in Florida in the early 2000s. An ex-boyfriend alleging she threatened to harm his family. The case was dismissed. And Swetnick's lawyer claims the ex- boyfriend has no credibility.
Still, Republicans would likely zero in on that episode if she testifies.
STODDARD: Her entire past is on the table. And Republicans will take every opportunity to go over every liability she has in her past, in her testimony, any holes, any character and credibility questions. And they will use that to shoot her down.
TODD (on camera): There's another woman whose information could shed new light on these allegations. A lawyer for Elizabeth Rasor, an ex- girlfriend of Mark Judge, the man allegedly in the room when the alleged incident with Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh allegedly took place, said that she is willing to share her information with the FBI or the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rasor says that Judge told her of an incident where he and other young men took turns having sex with a drunk woman. Rasor says Judge regarded the incident as consensual. And she says she has no information that Brett Kavanaugh took part in that incident. Right now, there's no indication that Elizabeth Rasor or Mark Judge is
going to appeared before the Judiciary Committee.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CABRERA: It is being called a medical miracle. A Florida woman told she would never walk again after a horrific car accident. How doctors gave her a miraculous second chance at life.
[16:52:13] CABRERA: An accident four years ago left a young Florida woman paralyzed. Doctors told her she would probably never walk again, but she did.
Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has her amazing story.
DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At age 19, Kelly Thomas, a woman raised on a cattle farm, an avid equestrian, was injured in a rollover truck accident.
KELLY THOMAS, ABLE TO WALK AFTER "AMAZING" TREATMENT: I broke my neck at C-7, T-1, and had a spinal cord injury.
COHEN: She was paralyzed from the chest down. Her doctors told her she wouldn't walk again.
But in February, three years after the accident, Thomas defied them all, taking these first steps.
COHEN (on camera): How did that feel?
THOMAS: I cried.
COHEN (voice-over): This small device put Thomas back on her feet. Surgically implanted, it sends electrical impulses to her spine. They mimic signals her brain used to send before her accident. After seven months, Thomas made more progress. She can walk around the house, walk in her bathroom, see her reflection "standing in the mirror. She can walk along her front porch or through grass in the yard, which is harder to traverse.
THOMAS: I can walk into the library or walk into dinner with friends. It makes me feel normal again.
COHEN: She showed me how.
(on camera): Your stimulator is off now.
THOMAS: Right. COHEN: Can you move your legs?
THOMAS: I can't.
COHEN: Now, let's see you turn it on.
THOMAS: With the setting I selected, I can move my leg.
COHEN That's amazing.
(voice-over): Her phenomenal accomplishment is reported this week in the "New England Journal of Medicine." In the study by researchers at the University of Louisville, four paralyzed patients were implanted with the device. Two of them, Thomas and this man, were able to walk again after intense physical training. Another study out this week, this one from Mayo Clinic, confirms the findings. The researchers report that one of their paralyzed patients also walked after getting a stimulator, but with assistance.
(on camera): You were paralyzed. You could not move your legs. And now you can walk.
COHEN: What word would you use to describe how that feels?
THOMAS: It is out of this world. It really is.
COHEN (voice-over): Each step is exhilarating and exhausting.
THOMAS: Come on, feet.
COHEN: (on camera): This is hard work. You don't just turn on the stimulator and go.
THOMAS: That's absolutely right. It is not a quick fix to being paralyzed.
COHEN (voice-over): She hopes one day they can have a similar transformation.
THOMAS: Nothing will stop me. I took something that was thought to be impossible and I turned it into possible.
COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Florida.
[16:55:04] CABRERA: Good for her.
Trail blazer, philanthropist, fire, Ted Turner, no doubt a media legend. What the founder of CNN just revealed about his personal health battle.
[17:00:00] CABRERA: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Great to have you with us.
This additional FBI background investigation just ordered to look into Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, will include the allegations made by Deborah Ramirez.