The world knows what happened when Arizona Republic Sen. Jeff Flake was confronted in an elevator by women saying they were survivors of sexual assault and pleading for further investigation into allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
It didn’t work the same way for Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue.
Flake listened to the women for what seemed like an eternity on live television, looking anguished. He thanked them. He went to the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting and interrupted the vote to work out a “gentleman’s agreement” to ask President Donald Trump to order that the FBI look into Christine Blasey Ford’s charges before the Senate votes on Kavanaugh.
That was Friday. Fast-forward to Monday. Two women approached Perdue as he arrived at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. They mentioned Flake’s call for an FBI probe and asked if Perdue agreed the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh should be fully investigated. Perdue said nothing and kept walking. They persisted. He never answered. The only words he spoke were to tell them not to touch him. They said they didn’t. He ducked into the men’s room. They waited. When he came out, he continued to ignore their questions while he walked through the airport. He sought out police officers—five times—to try to make them go away. They didn’t.
As he drove out of the parking garage, they said they would be back. And they posted a video of the incident on YouTube. An activist organization devoted to “equality and inclusion”—@CPD Action—tweeted it.
Perdue’s office offered no immediate response to an inquiry about the video.
The last statement Perdue issued on the subject was Friday after Flake negotiated the agreement to order a one-week FBI probe. Perdue said he didn’t think that was necessary. He commended Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for “generously” affording Ford and Kavanaugh “an equal opportunity to speak” and urging the Senate to move forward on the confirmation.
“No corroborating evidence has been presented to support these accusations. Judge Kavanaugh has been consistent and categorical in his denial. While Dr. Ford identified three witnesses, each of these witnesses stated under penalty of perjury that the events did not occur, which further corroborates Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony,” Perdue said.
One of those witnesses was Kavanaugh. Another, who Ford said was in the room, released a statement saying he didn’t remember it. And the third—who was not in the room—also said she didn’t remember it, although did not dispute Ford’s allegations.
“While Democrats continue to clamor for further FBI investigation, let’s look at what happened. To date, Judge Kavanaugh has been thoroughly investigated by the FBI six times, which is more than any other Supreme Court nominee in history,” Perdue said. He said, if Democrats “really wanted to get at the truth, they would have immediately provided the information that only they received to the FBI and the Judiciary Committee.” He repeated the Republican complaint that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., withheld for six weeks a letter that Ford sent but asked to keep confidential.
“When Chairman Grassley learned of Dr. Ford’s letter in the media, he quickly instituted a full committee investigation. Since then, the Democratic members of the committee chose not to participate. It is clear that Senate Democrats’ demands for an FBI investigation are nothing more than an orchestrated effort to cause a delay and push this decision past the election in November,” Perdue said.
“Shame on the United States Senate if it puts political interest before its constitutional responsibility,” Perdue said. “In America, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a cornerstone of our democracy. That’s at the heart of what makes our country exceptional. Now that the committee has voted to move this nomination forward, it is time to take a vote before the full Senate. It is time to put the Democrats’ partisan delays behind us. It is time to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.”