Senate Democrats have repeatedly called for an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but then-Sen. Joe Biden (D.) explained during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 why an FBI investigation into sexual misconduct is “inconclusive.”
Top Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), and the media have been drawing parallels between Kavanaugh and Thomas’ confirmation hearings since Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California, accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her to a bed, groping her, and trying to take off her clothes at a high school party in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, as has his former classmate Mark Judge, who Ford claims was also in the room at the time of the alleged incident.
During the 1991 hearing, Anita Hill accused Thomas of of sexually harassing her when he supervised her at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas denied the allegations, calling them “high-tech lynching.”
Biden addressed Hill’s accusations during the confirmation hearing, telling Thomas, who was nominated by Republican President George H.W. Bush, that the “presumption” is with him and that the Senate would be hearing more witnesses who would come in to corroborate his position and Hill’s.
“Judge, this is less directed at you than it is to my pontificating colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike,” Biden said in a clip unearthed by the NTK Network. “So, judge, I have not made my judgment, based upon this proceeding, because we have not heard all the evidence.”
Biden then addressed calls for an FBI investigation into the matter.
“The last thing I will point out, the next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything. FBI explicitly does not in this or any other case reach a conclusion. Period. Period,” Biden said.
“The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report [is] you would not like it if we did, because it is inconclusive. They say, ‘He said, she said, and they said.’ Period,” Biden continued. “So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions … They do not make recommendations.”
Senate Democrats demanded for there to be a FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh as recently as Tuesday afternoon. Some Senate Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), have even insisted that Thursday’s scheduled hearing, where Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify, would be a “sham” or a “charade” if there is not an FBI investigation.
In addition to Ford’s allegation, the New Yorker reported Sunday that Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh in the 1980s, has accused the Supreme Court nominee of drunkenly thrusting his penis in her face, causing her to inadvertently touch it as she pushed him away, at a party when he was a freshman.
Kavanaugh denied the accusation and called it a “smear” following the report’s publication. On Monday, he made a full statement in which he called the allegation an “obvious character assassination.”