President Trump on Monday called the sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh a “hoax that was set up by the Democrats” — without providing any evidence.
Responding to calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment if Democrats take control of a chamber of Congress after November’s elections, Trump told reporters, “I have been hearing that, that now they’re thinking of impeaching a brilliant jurist, a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax, that was set up by the Democrats.”
“Using the Democrats’ lawyers, and now they want to impeach him. I have heard this from many people. I think it’s an insult to the American public,” he added.
Trump also said that the allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford and exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez in the early 1980s were “all made up” and “fabricated.”
Ford testified under oath she was “100%” sure Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school.
The Senate voted 50–48 to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, the narrowest vote on a Supreme Court nomination in 137 years.
During Kavanaugh's swearing-in ceremony Monday evening, Trump called the accusations against the justice "a campaign of lies and deception" and apologized to the Kavanaugh family "for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure."
"You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent," Trump said.
Earlier, Trump cited “seven FBI investigations” of Kavanaugh as proof that he “had nothing to do with any of this stuff.”
Kavanaugh went through six FBI background checks for his previous jobs. Then, after Ford’s testimony, there was a supplemental FBI investigation that lasted for less than a week, was limited in its scope, and which did not involve interviewing either Ford or Kavanaugh.
Trump may be referring to a Republican talking point that Democrats withheld Ford’s initially anonymous allegations until after Kavanaugh’s first set of confirmation hearings as a way to derail his nomination.
But, as BuzzFeed News reported, there is not much evidence to support the idea that Democrats withheld Ford’s secret letter containing her allegations until the last minute for political purposes.
Instead, a detailed timeline of how the allegations became public highlight a combination of various factors involving politicians, media outlets, as well as Ford’s fear for her privacy.
Trump has changed his own opinion about Ford at least three times. Before her testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee, he attacked her credibility, suggesting that she exaggerated the incident in order to damage Kavanaugh’s nomination.
After the hearing, he called her testimony “credible” and “compelling.” And then a few days later, he mocked her credibility and cast doubts about her testimony at a rally, inviting laughs and cheers from his supporters.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Trump went further and said the allegations against Kavanaugh were fabricated.
“When you mention impeach a justice of the United States Supreme Court, who was a top scholar, top student, top intellect, and who did nothing wrong, and there was no corroboration of any kind, and went through seven FBI investigations, had nothing to do with any of this stuff,” Trump said. “I mean, you had the last one, take a look at the last one, the things they said about him. I don’t even think he ever heard of the words. It was all made up. It was fabricated. And it’s a disgrace.”
He said Democrats behaved “absolutely atrocious,” citing their “leaks of important documents to the statements they made.”
“I thought that the way the way they conducted themselves, the way they dealt with a high-level, brilliant, going to be a great Justice of the Supreme Court, the way they really tortured him and his family, I thought it was a disgrace. I thought it was one of the most disgraceful performances I have ever seen,” Trump said.