Politics & Policy

Schumer: ‘No Presumption of Innocence or Guilt’ for Kavanaugh

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at a Capitol Hill press conference, March 1, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that there should be “no presumption of innocence or guilt” for Brett Kavanaugh amid the sexual-assault allegations roiling his Supreme Court nomination.

“It’s not a legal proceeding. It’s a fact-finding proceeding,” Schumer told reporters, referring to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the allegations leveled at Kavanaugh. “When new information comes up, the FBI goes again and does its background check. . . . You have two diametrically opposed stories.”

Asked whether he believed the Supreme Court nominee should receive the presumption of innocence accorded to anyone facing criminal charges, Schumer said, “There’s no presumption of innocence or guilt when you have a nominee before you.”

Christine Blasey Ford is expected to testify before the Judiciary Committee Thursday regarding her claim that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing at a party before she escaped when she was 15 and he 17. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at an alcohol-fueled dorm-room party during their freshman year at Yale University.

Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the charges, even taking the unusual step of sitting for a Fox News interview Monday alongside his wife, Ashley.

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