Three prominent Republicans from South Carolina weighed in Sunday on the sexual assault allegations facing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
President Donald Trump last week questioned the veracity of an allegation by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, saying in a tweet, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
Speaking Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said “every accuser always deserves the right to be heard,” but also that the accused deserves the right to be heard.
“Accusers go through a lot of trauma, and some handle it one way and some handle it the other way,” the former S.C. governor said on CNN. “It’s not something that we want to do -- to blame the accuser or to try and second guess the accuser. We don’t know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don’t know the circumstances.”
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said on “Fox News Sunday” that Ford “will be treated respectfully but she will be challenged” when she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. However, when asked by host Chris Wallace if any of Ford’s testimony could change his mind on confirming Kavanaugh, Graham was doubtful.
“I want to listen to her, but I’m being honest with you and everybody else: What do you expect me to do?” Graham said. “You can’t bring it in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn’t even get a warrant. What am I supposed to do -- go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation (that) I don’t know when it happened,I don’t know where it happened, and everybody named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen? I’m just being honest; unless there’s something more, no, I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this. But she should come forward, she should have her say. She will be respectfully treated.”
Ford wanted the FBI to investigate her allegation before she testified in front of the committee, the Associated Press reported. But S.C. Congressman Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, asked what there is to investigate.
“They (the FBI) don’t investigate sex assault cases,” Gowdy said Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “... There’s no crime scene to process, there’s no forensics to evaluate. What the FBI could do is go interview Dr. Ford and interview Judge Kavanaugh, but they’ve already interviewed Judge Kavanaugh.”
Gowdy said that as a prosecutor, he was biased toward sexual assault victims.
“I spent 20 years believing them, sometimes when nobody else did,” he said Sunday on CBS.
Still, when dealing with matters that could take away someone’s freedom or impact their reputation, Gowdy said the threshold for evidence should be high.
“I think American people expect there to be a high evidentiary burden,” he told CBS host John Dickerson, “and I’m really disappointed when I hear senators say they either believe or don’t believe witnesses that they have never interviewed or heard from.”