Watch This CNN Panel Illustrate How Press Have Decided Kavanaugh Must Go

In just over 11 minutes on Monday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom, one panel encapsulated why the liberal media are not fans of due process regarding the sexual misconduct claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and questioning the accuser’s story equates to painful sexism.

The first half of the panel started at the 3:23 p.m. Eastern mark with former Trump administration lawyer Jim Schultz making clear that he views Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claims as “serious allegations and they need to be taken seriously” despite Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) having sat on the claims since July 30.

 

 

Schultz noted that Feinstein could have asked the FBI to look into it and ask Kavanaugh behind closed doors, but what’s done is done as Ford’s wishes to keep her story on the down low were leaked to the media. 

Legal analyst Areva Martin lashed out at Schultz as a sign of what was come, declaring without any supporting claims that “[t]here’s absolutely no evidence that the Democrats leaked this information” and lamented how Ford has supposedly already been torn apart like Anita Hill was (click “expand” for more):

Senator Feinstein respected the wishes of this victim, because this victim knew what would happen if she came forward. We've seen it time and time again, when women come forward and tell their story, they are no longer the victims, they become the villain, they get attacked and humiliated. We watched Anita Hill get annihilated as she told her story about Justice Clarence Thomas. So I think we should just step it back a little and should be talk about the bravery and the courage that it takes for a woman to come forward and even tell her story, even in this era of MeToo, it's still incredibly difficult for women to talk about sexual harassment and sexual assault. So, this big rush to have the hearing, I don't know what the rush is about. 

Host Brooke Baldwin showed her leanings on Kavanaugh, fretting that “[i]t is no wonder why women are so hesitant to come forward” because of questions being raised about her story.

Senior political reporter Maeve Reston agreed and, after the break, blasted Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) for having skepticism about Ford. Reston then unloaded (click “expand”):

I mean, what decade are we in at this point where you wouldn't want to hear the facts from both sides? And again, these are just allegations. We don't know what's true and what's false yet. But to not, you know, let the accuser have her say before members of the Judiciary Committee. If someone sexually assaults you, tosses you on a bed and claps their hand over your mouth, there’s a highly likelihood you're going to remember who that person is and I just think, you know, it’s interesting, you know, because I think we're all having these flashbacks to Anita Hill...just the idea that you wouldn't treat these allegations seriously, I think it's very risky ground for Republicans. The problem that they have in the midterm elections is that suburban women are not comfortable President Trump and they're going no face a lot of races where those women will be the deciding factor. So I think the senators on the Judiciary Committee ought to be very careful about what they say publicly before we get all the facts here. 

Schultz suggested caution in moving forward and let both sides continue to speak, but other CNNers showed that’s not what they truly care about. 

Martin condemned questions raised by people like Hatch, arguing that they’re trying to make “the victim again the villain” by asking basic questions about what happened, when it happened, if there were witnesses, etc. Apparently, Martin is a big fan of due process.

Schultz twice again called out Feinstein for sitting on this (since July 30), but that first drew Baldwin’s scorn, again showing the media may claim they want to see due process, but what they want is Kavanaugh gone:

What process is there when you are a woman who suffered sexual and physical assault, allegedly, who is all of a sudden realizing this past summer that the person she says assaulted her is the guy who could be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court....None of us can begin to understand what that process, her own process looks like, to then have the guts to come forward and write a letter, at first anonymously, because she feared the lashing, which has begun.

The second time saw Martin and Reston try to shout Schultz down by ruling that he’s “miss[ed] the point here” and unfairly “attacking” Feinstein (click “expand”):

RESTON: Right, but I think you're missing the point here. 

BALDWIN: Hang on and I want to continue this —

MARTIN: He is totally missing the point. He is totally missing the point. 

SCHULTZ: I'm not missing the point. 

MARTIN: Absolutely, you are. 

SCHULTZ: I firmly believe that someone had the courage to come forward, certainly deserves and should be heard and the American people -- 

RESTON: But she was not ready to come forward earlier this year. She went back and forth and was making up her mind about whether or not to come forward. 

SCHULTZ: Yeah, but let's not forget, that decision was made for her —

MARTIN: And you're attacking Senator Feinstein. 

SCHULTZ: — by a leak.

MARTIN: And you're attacking Senator Feinstein

SCHULTZ: By a leak.

MARTIN: — as the basis for your attack on her. 

SCHULTZ: Yeah, because it came by — 

MARTIN: You have absolutely no basis —

SCHULTZ: — way of a leak. 

MARTIN: Jim, you have absolutely no basis for attacking Senator Feinstein. 

SCHULTZ: That’s what the troubling thing here and to —

MARTIN: Senator Feinstein handled this matter in the best way she could — 

SCHULTZ: Now you’re being partisan.

MARTIN: — given what Dr. Ford said about hoe she wanted this handled. You have to respect the process that victims go through when —

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

MARTIN: — they are being forced to, in this case. She said it's her civic duty that's now compelling her to come forward something so personal, so intimate. So we have to respect her process, as well. 

Before Baldwin wrapped up, Reston had the final word and stated that “there are just a lot of facts that we still need to understand going forward,” but based on this panel discussion, doing so is, well, sexist.

To see the relevant transcript from September 17's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
September 17, 2018
3:23 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Jim, first to you, you heard the words describing President Trump, disciplined, measured. What did you make of how handled that, just then? 

JIM SCHULTZ: I think he had the right tone. Look, these are serious allegations and they need to be taken seriously and a process needs to be borne out here. You know, these allegations were available to Senator Feinstein back in July. At that time, she could have sent them over to the FBI and the FBI could have done that as part of their initial background investigation. She chose not to do that. 

BALDWIN: Well, she was — let me just jump in. She was respecting the wishes of the woman we now know as Christine Blasey Ford, who — who did not want to go public on this. 

SCHULTZ: Well, and Senate Democratic staff decided not to respect her wishes by leaking it, but let's get back to the process for a second here. The issue is, that could have gone through a confidential process where he could have been questioned about it and then he could have been questioned by the committee in closed-door meetings. That didn't happen here. So what we're now faced with, because the process wasn’t followed, now we're faced with, well, what do we do now, days before? I'm heartened by the fact that Judge Kavanaugh came out and said he'll be willing to testify under oath as it relates to this issue. I'm heartened by the fact that the witness will come forward and discuss it, notwithstanding the fact that the Democrats leaked this information. I think that's good for the American people to be able to hear it and make credibility judgments on their own and let's not forget, they could also bring in the other witness in this and have discussions with him as well. So I think there's a real opportunity here to bear out the facts, let the American people and the senate, who ultimately have the vote on this, make their credibility judgments on their own. 

BALDWIN: Right, the other witness who also denies this ever happened. Areva, how do you see it? 

AREVA MARTIN: Yeah, first of all, I don't know where this comment is coming from that the Democrats leaked it. There’s absolutely no evidence that the Democrats leaked this information. Senator Feinstein respected the wishes of this victim, because this victim knew what would happen if she came forward. We've seen it time and time again, when women come forward and tell their story, they are no longer the victims, they become the villain, they get attacked and humiliated. We watched Anita Hill get annihilated as she told her story about Justice Clarence Thomas. So I think we should just step it back a little and should be talk about the bravery and the courage that it takes for a woman to cam forward and even tell her story, even in this era of MeToo, it's still incredibly difficult for women to talk about sexual harassment and sexual assault. So, this big rush to have the hearing, I don't know what the rush is about. Obviously, if it takes a week, if it takes two weeks to get to the truth, I think the country deserves, the American people deserve to have these serious allegations vetted not just a hearing between the two people involved, but there possibly are other witnesses, Brooke, who were at this party. Other people who can shed light on what happened that night and they all have information, I think that's invaluable to us getting to the truth and knowing whether this guy, Brett Kavanaugh, if this judge should have a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. 

BALDWIN: She, Maeve, did not want to come forward. She had written this letter back in July, she reached out to The Washington Post tip line back in the summer. Senator Feinstein respected her wishes. She took this polygraph test, passed the polygraph test, and it's no wonder, you know, she really grappled this. It is no wonder why women are so hesitant to come forward. 

MAEVE RESTON: Well, absolutely because she knew what was about to happen to her life. I mean, she's now no longer staying at her house, as we know from our reporters, M.J. Lee, who's been following this case and I think that one of the most breathtaking things so far, you saw President Trump be pretty restrained there, obviously, Kellyanne Conway, as well. But you just played that interview with senator hatch a few minutes ago, who is suggesting that she was mixed up in her recollection, and, you know, maybe has the wrong guy and he is making that statement before hearing her testimony under oath.

(....)

3:33 p.m. Eastern

BALDWIN: So bringing all of you guys back. And Maeve, that's the point you were getting to. And the fact is that Senator Hatch is — it seems like he's taking the side, you know, or believes Judge Kavanaugh and thus the inference is, well, she must have gotten her accusers mixed up? What's your interpretation of that? 

RESTON: Right. It seems like he was saying, you know, she must have been mistaken. This was possibly some other guy. I just — I just find that so startling, that a senator would say something like that. I mean, what decade are we in at this point where you wouldn't want to hear the facts from both sides? And again, these are just allegations. We don't know what's true and what's false yet. But to not, you know, let the accuser have her say before members of the Judiciary Committee. If someone sexually assaults you, tosses you on a bed and claps their hand over your mouth, there’s a highly likelihood you're going to remember who that person is and I just think, you know, it’s interesting, you know, because I think we're all having these flashbacks to Anita Hill, it was Senator Hatch's voice that we heard on the clip, you know, that you played earlier —

BALDWIN: Right, way back in the day.

RESTON: — yeah, just the idea that you wouldn't treat these allegations seriously, I think it's very risky ground for Republicans. The problem that they have in the midterm elections is that suburban women are not comfortable President Trump and they're going no face a lot of races where those women will be the deciding factor. So I think the senators on the Judiciary Committee ought to be very careful about what they say publicly before we get all the facts here. 

BALDWIN: Jim, would you agree? 

SCHULTZ: I think the President said it right. It's time to take a pause here and a brief pause is warranted, because of the seriousness of the allegations, respect for the person making the accusations, and the braver it took to come forward. So certainly, she does deserve to be heard. 

BALDWIN: And he said that. He said that. 

SCHULTZ: And the facts need to be borne out in the hearing and the President was clear on that. I think everyone should reserve judgment on this, including the senators, until they hear out the testimony. 

BALDWIN: But it is, Areva, the beginning of how Judge Kavanaugh would defend himself, right? Saying essentially, that wasn't me, I wasn't at that party. 

MARTIN: You're so right, Brooke. I've been litigating these cases for over two decades and I can tell you this narrative that we're hearing from Senator Hatch, that's the narrative we've heard for decades. You start turning the story around, you start twisting the facts in a way that makes the victim again the villain in this situation. So now we're going to question her memory. We're going to question her veracity. We're going to question, you know, her judgment and in this case, we already know, Dr. Ford not only talked about the assault with her husband, she talked about it with her therapist, there apparently are some notes about what she said to the therapist. So we have some other evidence that points to the validity and the veracity of her statement. We even have this polygraph test, although it wouldn't be admissible in a court of law, again, these are the kinds of pieces of evidence that would cause a prosecutor or that would cause a trier of fact to make the conclusion that she's telling the truth and again, before we allow her to tell her truth, we really need to, you know, roll back the statements like those of Senator Hatch, that starts to poke holes and undermine her credibility, before she's been given a chance to come forward and tell her story to the American people. 

SCHULTZ: But let's remember one thing. We wouldn't be in this position. All of these facts would have been borne out through an FBI background investigation. All of these facts would have been borne out through questioning in a closed-door setting, had the process been followed. Now we're faced with something that's going to happen in a very public setting and the American people now want to know and deserve to know. 

BALDWIN: Jim, I've got to push back a little bit. What process is there when you are a woman who suffered sexual and physical assault, allegedly, who is all of a sudden realizing this past summer that the person she says assaulted her is the guy who could be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court? 

SCHULTZ: Absolutely. So what I'm talking about — 

BALDWIN: None of us — hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. 

SCHULTZ: Okay. 

BALDWIN: Hang on. None of us can begin to understand what that process, her own process looks like, to then have the guts to come forward and write a letter, at first anonymously, because she feared the lashing, which has begun. So I'm just saying, when you say, “the process,” hang on —

SCHULTZ: Well, if Dianne Feinstein has been sensitive to all of this, she's a veteran at this. She's gone through this time and time again, the confirmation hearing process and the FBI, law enforcement, does the background investigation. They ask questions and then that gets borne out through a series of closed doors meetings before any of the public hearings even happen. 

RESTON: Right, but I think you're missing the point here. 

BALDWIN: Hang on and I want to continue this —

MARTIN: He is totally missing the point. He is totally missing the point. 

SCHULTZ: I'm not missing the point. 

MARTIN: Absolutely, you are. 

SCHULTZ: I firmly believe that someone had the courage to come forward, certainly deserves and should be heard and the American people -- 

RESTON: But she was not ready to come forward earlier this year. She went back and forth and was making up her mind about whether or not to come forward. 

SCHULTZ: Yeah, but let's not forget, that decision was made for her —

MARTIN: And you're attacking Senator Feinstein. 

SCHULTZ: — by a leak.

MARTIN: And you're attacking Senator Feinstein

SCHULTZ: By a leak.

MARTIN: — as the basis for your attack on her. 

SCHULTZ: Yeah, because it came by — 

MARTIN: You have absolutely no basis —

SCHULTZ: — way of a leak. 

MARTIN: Jim, you have absolutely no basis for attacking Senator Feinstein. 

SCHULTZ: That’s what the troubling thing here and to —

MARTIN: Senator Feinstein handled this matter in the best way she could — 

SCHULTZ: Now you’re being partisan.

MARTIN: — given what Dr. Ford said about hoe she wanted this handled. You have to respect the process that victims go through when —

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

MARTIN: — they are being forced to, in this case. She said it's her civic duty that's now compelling her to come forward something so personal, so intimate. So we have to respect her process, as well. 

SCHULTZ: I agree, 100%, we must respect her process, as well. That is what's most important and we're also talking about the court of the highest court in the land and we need someone in there that's credible — that can credibly go into that position with a record that is unscathed. No question. 

RESTON: And, and it's a question about character. And that's why this is such an important discussion. If this is the best person to serve on the highest court in the land, then we ought to know what happened in high school and as he went forward. You know, I mean, this is the party culture of D.C. It's many years ago, there are just a lot of facts that we still need to understand going forward. 

BALDWIN: We’re going to — we will continue having conversations just like these. Everyone from different perspectives. I appreciate each and every one of you. I just had to take a minute on the process because it's important to respect that. Guys, thank you so much. 

NB Daily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals CNN CNN Newsroom Video Government & Press Brooke Baldwin Maeve Reston Brett Kavanaugh Dianne Feinstein Christine Blasey Ford
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