CNN's Cillizza Says GOP Walking 'Dangerous Line' in Seeking Truth from Kavanaugh Accuser


CNN politics reporter Chris Cillizza warned that Republicans are “walking a very dangerous line” by questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser’s account of a sexual assault that allegedly happened when the two were in high school in the early 1980s.

Cillizza’s words came in response to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeting Republican Sen. John Cornyn “raises sharp questions about the account of Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser.”

Costa continued: “’The problem is, Dr. Ford can’t remember when it was, where it was, or how it came to be,’ Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) says. ‘There are some gaps there that need to be filled.’”

Cillizza replied to Costa’s tweet that Cornyn is “Walking a VERY dangerous line here…”

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Christine Blasey Ford came forward on Sunday, putting her name publicly to the previous anonymous accusation made against Kavanaugh.

In a letter received by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in early July, Ford claims that Kavanaugh held her down and groped her over her clothing at a high school party in the early 1980s, during which he had been drinking heavily, The Washington Post reported.

Ford was 15 at the time and going into her sophomore year and Kavanaugh, 17, was entering his senior year.

Kavanaugh categorically denied the anonymous allegation when it first surfaced last week, and again in a more forceful statement on Monday, CBS News reported.

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“This is a completely false allegation,” Kavanaugh said in his Monday statement. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, stated on Tuesday that Ford and her attorney had not responded to an invitation to appear before the committee to testify under oath about the alleged incident this Monday, Sept. 24.

“We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours three or four times by email and we have not heard from them, and it kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?” Grassley said on The Hugh Hewitt Show Tuesday, according to Fox News.

Cornyn, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters later in the day that Ford can testify in a public hearing or in a closed session.

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“We certainly hope that she takes advantage of this opportunity, if she still would like to,” said Cornyn. “If she’d prefer to do this in a closed setting, that’s her choice.”

The Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel reported on Tuesday the Republicans are considering having female staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee question Ford about the alleged sexual assault incident should she decide to testify.

The reason, according to Terkel, is because all the Republicans senators on the committee are men and aggressively questioning Ford “could backfire on them.”

She noted that Cornyn has stated the committee is looking at different ways of handling the questioning.

“We’ve discussed various options, including hiring outside lawyers and supplementing that with senators asking questions,” he said. “So, any senator who wants to ask questions remains free to do so. But I don’t want want to get in front of the chairman.”

Ford’s attorney Lisa Banks told CNN on Tuesday night that her client “will talk with the committee. She’s not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday,” arguing a legitimate investigation by the FBI won’t happen “between now and Monday.”

National Review’s David French argued Ford really needs to testify, given the stakes involved in a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and Kavanaugh’s professional reputation.

“Christine Blasey Ford has made an accusation that is more serious than any demand for money,” he wrote. “Her claims, if sufficiently credible, could alter the course of American history. There is no reason why they can’t be tested, in an open hearing, with the eyes of the nation on her. It will of course be hard, but no harder than what we ask of victims and plaintiffs in countless other cases across the land.”

He added, “If, however, Ford declines to testify — or imposes unreasonable conditions on her appearance — the committee should immediately proceed to a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination and vote to confirm him without regard to her untested allegations. Any other course would set a terrible precedent, not just for judicial nominations but also for the very concept of due process itself.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith