Chairman Grassley opens the hearing with an apology for the way the witnesses have been treated. Then, he proceeds to undermine Ford’s position with commentary about Ford’s “secret” letter, complaining about Democrats’ handling of the letter, reciting statements submitted by witnesses adverse to Ford’s. This, Grassley argues, prevented investigation of Ford’s allegations. He also argues that the FBI investigation would have been useless, citing a statement from Joe Biden about how FBI investigation would have reached no relevant conclusions.
Then Grassley spends time promoting the credentials of the woman selected by the Republicans to examine Dr. Ford. Finally, he turns to attacking the other two women who have made allegations against Kavanaugh because they have allegedly not responded to requests for more information. This seems like another attempt to undermine Ford.
Ford struggles through her prepared testimony, on the brink of breaking down from the outset. She appears somewhat bewildered by the process details, which is understandable in that she has never testified before Congress. Dr. Ford’s attorney is engaged and supportive when she seems lost.
Under examination from Ms. Mitchell, Ford astutely suggests that an investigation of Kavanaugh’s employment history would help narrow the details of when the attack occurred. Chairman Grassley ignores this.
Sen. Durbin puts in record a long list of Kavanaugh classmates and others calling for an FBI investigation. Again, ignored. Grassley explodes at Durbin’s comments about the investigation issue, with Grassley claiming the committee could have conducted an investigation while preserving Ford’s privacy. If the situation were not so serious, this would be laughable, the declaration that the committee would have preserved Ford’s privacy while conducting an “investigation” in circumstances where the Republican majority is totally committed to confirming Trump’s nominee no matter what.