I still don't know how that is possible. It was an egregious comment, not to mention an idiotic one. When you're 15 years old (or any age, for that matter), you don't call the FBI because someone sexually attacked you. The FBI has only been brought up today because Brett Kavanaugh is nominated to serve on the Supreme Court, and they do background checks. One would think that that's pretty basic, and it doesn't require being president to have a grasp on that concept. But further, it's also pretty well-established all the many and understandable reasons women don't go to the police if they've been raped -- let along sexually attacked and were able to escape. So, on many levels this was a truly awful thing to have said, clearly demeaning the accusation because no charges had been filed when she was a terrified, traumatized teenager. The Trump comment came late in the evening, and I do suspect there will be more reference to it today.
UPDATE: I wrote most of this article last night, but before posting it this morning I first checked the news for any new stories that might relate to it. It referred to the wonderful Stephanie Ruhle going on a rant on her MSNBC show, Velshi & Ruhle about this very quote. Alas, it's likely that other analysts won't deal with that quote, though not because they missed it. Rather because Trump went off message yet again and this time with a morning tweet. It's is similar and awful, and basically says that if there was really an attack he’s sure it would have been reported, so let’s find that out. It's possible that some reporters will put the two quotes together and note that Trump is beginning to stray off the reservation.)
But back to Dr. Ford and her lawyers.
Last night, the Ford lawyers released their conditions that they would agree to for Dr. Ford to testify. Most notably they include --
1. Ford does not want to be questioned by an outside counsel.
2. Ford does not want to testify in the same room as Brett Kavanaugh.
3. Ford wants the Senate to subpoena Mark Judge and other witnesses.
4. Ford wants no time limit on her opening statement.
5. Work to ensure Dr. Ford's safety.
6. Can't testify before Thursday.
7. Public hearing with limited cameras.
8. Kavanaugh testifies first, Ford second.
Not being a Senate testimony expert, those seem pretty benign, considering all the things that could have been demanded, including an FBI investigation. I'm sure there will be some give-and-take in negotiations (I suspect they'll insisted that Brett Kavanaugh, as the accused, go second), but it seems that the starting point should lead to her testifying next week.
A friend also said he was surprised that they didn't include requiring an FBI investigation first. I was a little surprised, as well, but they did request it earlier, and in the end it's something that only the president can order, so making it a condition to the Senate, which has no authority on such a thing, perhaps made it moot for the list.
My favorite condition on the list is the first one, and I hope they hold firm on it. It's obvious that the Republican senators are cowardly and afraid how they will appear, 11 older white men, several of who have already made damning, biased statements about Dr. Ford's charges. I know that some analysts have noted that there have been occasions when a committee had an outside counsel asking questions -- most famously for Joe McCarthy's investigative committee and during the Watergate investigations. But those situations were during investigations, and I know of no precedent where outside counsel was used to interrogate during confirmation hearing, as if it was a trial.
By the way, speaking of question -- Chris Matthews yesterday had some great, basic questions to ask Brett Kavanaugh at the hearing that couldn't easily be dismissed with "I don't have a recollection of that event." Among them -- Did you drink in high school? Did you ever drink to excess so that you'd blank out? How many beers did it take for you to be drunk?
Beyond all this, Republicans have to know -- or are so focused on their obsessive task at hand that they are not seeing the obvious -- that this confirmation hearing is not the end of the story. It's still possible that criminal charges could be filed in Maryland which doesn't have a statute of limitations on matters like this. While that's not likely, what is almost certain is that news reporters will be investigating. One legal expert put this in the best, most succinct way -- "In six months, some reporter is going to win the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering all this." Tracking down witnesses and evidence that Dr. Christine Ford is telling the truth that Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her with Mark Judge. And if Kavanaugh has been confirmed, bullied through the process by Republicans senators, ignoring the testimony of a woman presenting her traumatic experience to them -- just as they did 27 years ago with Anita Hill -- the GOP is going to have disaster on its hands. Pushing the man to the Supreme Court who she said sexually attacked her.
You'd have thought Republicans would have learned from that experience in 1991, grossly mishandling Anita Hill in her Senate testimony against a Supreme Court nominee. But despite their insistence to the contrary, apparently not. The best I can figure is that many of them don't actually think it was mishandled.
And in the end, I must finish the way I think all discussions of this topic should end -- it's not about Trump, it's all about the elected officials of the Republican Party.