By Grace Carr
Former Vice President Joe Biden emphatically supported Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Monday night, faltering only when a reporter asked him about the credibility of a claim made over 35 years ago.
“What I’m going to do is I’m not going to answer any more questions,” Biden said, deflecting a reporter’s question asking whether it was significant that the assault claim refers to an incident that allegedly occurred when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was 17-years-old.
“I’d be happy to talk about Ireland,” Biden added during his remarks to a group of reporters at Irish ambassador to the U.S. Dan Mulhall’s residence.
Biden delivered a glowing endorsement Monday night of women who come forward with accusations of assault. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time,” Biden said, adding that “[coming forward] is like jumping into a cauldron.”
Biden’s remarks follow allegations that Kavanaugh tried to force himself on Ford when they were both minors. The allegations were first reported by The New Yorker on Sept. 14. Ford’s name was not reported until Sept. 16.
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to the FBI about the allegations on Sept. 13, allowing this claims to gain widespread attention.
Biden defended Feinstein against critiques that her timing is suspect, insisting that there is no right or wrong time to go public with an alleged victim’s allegations. “Dianne’s getting beat up now for why didn’t she go forward,” Biden said, pointing to a persisting question of “what is the individual’s right to come forward or not to come forward?,” according to WaPo.
The former vice president added that the emotional trauma women endure by going public with allegations is not insignificant. “For all, it’s damaging,” Biden said. “For some, it’s devastating.”
Kavanaugh rejects all allegations of misconduct.
“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said in a Monday statement. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.” Kavanaugh also said he wasn’t at the party that’s been described as the location where the assault occurred.
Kavanaugh spoke with the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday evening about the sexual assault allegations. The Committee will hold a public hearing for Kavanaugh and Ford on Sept. 24.
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