As an attorney for Christine Blasey Ford said Thursday afternoon that her client remains willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the sexual assault she says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh perpetrated against her when the two were in high school, mass demonstrations resulted in arrests on Capitol Hill on Thursday as women's rights groups and Democrats intensifed their charge that Republicans are trying to 'railroad' Ford by not taking her allegations seriously and refusing to order the FBI investigation she has asked for and that experts say is entirely appropriate.
Dozens of people, mostly women, were arrested one by one in the lobby of the Hart Senate Building mid-afternoon:
Women are getting arrested as we chant:
“WE BELIEVE ANITA HILL!
WE BELIEVE CHRISTINE FORD!” pic.twitter.com/qR3FOhnDDV
— Women's March (@womensmarch) September 20, 2018
Meanwhile, as Capitol Police hauled people away, Democratic senators rallied around the demand aimed at Republican lawmakers and the White House to drop their opposition to Ford's request for an investigation into her allegations.
"Really, I would call it a railroad job," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told reporters at a noontime press conference. "And it's totally unfair."
Hirono and her Democratic colleague's are calling for the White House to have the FBI conduct the investigation that Ford has requested and that experts say is perfectly within their purview and capabilities.
In a post titled, "Judicial Nominee Background Investigations — Fact vs. Fiction," Mike Zubrensky, the chief counsel at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said the GOP's spin on the investigation is hogwash:
Forging ahead with a hearing next week without allowing the FBI an opportunity to conduct additional interviews and collect evidence would be yet another abuse of power by the Republican majority during the Kavanaugh confirmation process. The Senate must honor survivors of sexual assault by taking their allegations seriously, respectfully, and on a nonpartisan basis. An FBI investigation is an important step in that direction. As Senator Hatch noted in 1991 when the FBI conducted an investigation into Anita Hill’s allegations: “When they heard about this the first time, they immediately ordered the FBI investigation, which was the very right thing to do.” It is the right thing to do today as well.
"You have the entire force of the presidency and all of the supporters of Judge Kavanaugh in the Senate arrayed on one side and on this other side you have Dr. Ford who doesn't even have the benefit an FBI investigation, as well all have called for," Hirono told reporters. "How unfair is that?"
Appearing on CNN, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) wanted to know why, if Kavanaugh and his GOP backers are confident he did nothing wrong, they are refusing to approve such a probe:
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a senior Democrat on the judiciary committee, says Republicans should not rush Christine Blasey Ford to testify: “If they have nothing to hide, why the hurry?” pic.twitter.com/0afCwzv7VG
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 20, 2018
In her statements, Hirono said, "They are totally intent on getting Judge Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, come Hell or high water. You have to ask yourself, why?"