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Law & the Courts

Gillibrand on Ford’s Allegation: ‘I Believe Her Because She’s Telling the Truth’

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, N.Y.) speaks to reporters about the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of a woman’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 18, 2018. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on Thursday expressed no doubt in the truth of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

Speaking at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Gillibrand cited Ford’s request that her claim be investigated by the FBI as evidence of her truthfulness.

“I believe Dr. Blasey Ford because she’s telling the truth. You know it by her story. You know it by the fact that she told her therapist five years ago. She told her husband. This is a trauma she’s been dealing with her whole life. She doesn’t want to be in a bedroom that doesn’t have two doors. People knew that about her a long time ago,” Gillibrand said.

“These are the hallmarks of truth, these are the hallmarks of someone who wants to be believed. I believe her because she’s telling the truth. She’s asking the FBI to investigate her claims,” the senator added. “She’s asking for that kind of review, that investigative work, that oversight, that accountability. Someone who is lying doesn’t ask the FBI to investigate their claims.”

Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley invited Ford to testify publicly before the committee Monday but her attorney denied the invitation and said she wouldn’t speak on Capitol Hill until an FBI investigation has been conducted. Republicans have responded by pointing out that the FBI has already reviewed Ford’s claim and concluded it lacked sufficient evidence to open an investigation.

Kavanaugh has already testified privately under penalty of legal sanctions for lying, and is scheduled to testify publicly Monday.

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