With time running out for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to provide some form of testimony with the Senate Judiciary Committee, the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) spent their Wednesday evening broadcasts giving a boost to Democratic calls for an investigation into the Supreme Court nominee. Of course, they failed in their duty to inform their viewers that the FBI had already declined to investigate when the charges were brought to them over the weekend.
The closest any of them came to admitting that fact was when CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor noted that “[t]he bureau has no plans to do that right now.” But that didn’t stop CBS chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes from pushing the Democratic demand for an FBI investigation right now.
After playing a soundbite of President Trump saying “it would seem that the FBI really doesn't do that”, Cordes declared “Democrats said the FBI does.” And while she did admit that committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) offered Ford “a buffet of ways to tell her story”, she huffed about how “Republicans oppose the one option Democrats say would lead to the truth.”
“The FBI did examine Anita Hill's harassment claims against Clarence Thomas in 1991,” she added. That may be true, but the FBI declined to investigate when Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) brought the charges to the bureau over the weekend.
On NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt continued the network’s vile depiction of GOP Senators as just a bunch of men looking to brutalize a woman. “We're following a cliffhanger tonight, a standoff between Senate Republicans anxious to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault,” he proclaimed at the start of the program.
“It's over what she now wants before agreeing to testify, an FBI investigation into her claims and what Republicans are willing to offer her, a public or private hearing on Monday,” he added as if that was insufficient.
During the report by NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, she insisted “only the White House can ask for an FBI investigation.” “Mr. Trump showing no signs that he’ll do that,” she huffed.
She also highlighted her argument with Trump about his ability to order an investigation:
DONALD TRUMP: It would seem the FBI really doesn't do that. They’ve investigated.
KRISTEN WELKER: They would if you ask them to, Mr. President.
TRUMP: They investigated about six times before and it seems they don't do that
“But in 1991, former President George H. W. Bush did call for an investigation into Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Clearance Thomas,” she added. Again, the FBI declined to investigate already.
While Democrats were the ones leading the charge for an FBI investigation, ABC chief White House correspondent Jon Karl framed it as a request primarily coming from Ford’s legal team. “Ford’s lawyers want the FBI to investigate before she appears on Capitol Hill,” he reported. “The President could order an investigation but has declined to do so.”
This incessant suggestion that there could be an FBI investigation was misleading to their viewers and only served to boost the talking points of Democrats. Especially since they neglected to mention FBI’s prior refusal to investigate.
The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:
ABC's World News Tonight
September 19, 2018
6:31 p.m. Eastern
DAVID MUIR: And we begin with the fireworks playing out just before we came on the air tonight. The political fight over President Trump's Supreme Court nominee is getting ugly, and quickly. With one Senator using choice words just a short time ago to describe Republicans who now say they have done everything they can to accommodate the accuser.
Judge Kavanaugh seen leaving his home this morning. There remain public hearing set for Monday. And Republicans are putting pressure now on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to come forward Monday, if not, many say they will move ahead with a vote. And the Washington Post now reporting Kavanaugh underwent practice sessions, drills at the White House to prepare for questioning.
And his accuser tonight, now saying she has received death threats, has had to move her family, her children to a new location and has had her e-mail hacked. She wants an FBI investigation into her allegation before she puts herself out there in front of Senators who will grill her. And tonight, the President now saying of the allegation, quote, “it is hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
JON KARL: Ford’s lawyers want the FBI to investigate before she appears on Capitol Hill.
LISA BANKS: If they care about doing the right here and treating this seriously, as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this.
KARL: The President could order an investigation but has declined to do so. The focus now is on Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, who says he still hopes Ford shows up at his hearing on Monday.
CBS Evening News
September 19, 2018
6:32 p.m. Eastern
JEFF GLOR: Good evening, I'm Jeff Glor. We are going to begin with the latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser. The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says Christine Blasey Ford has until Friday to submit her testimony to the panel saying she can appear in public or private on Monday. Her lawyer says Ford will not testify until the FBI investigates her accusations. The bureau has no plans to do that right now. Tonight, Chuck Grassley said a hearing will go on if Dr. Ford is there or not. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill tonight with the latest on this. And, Nancy, this story seems to-- seems to change by the hour.
NANCY CORDES: It really does, Jeff. In fact, Ford's lawyers tonight are reacting to the Republican plan to move ahead with this hearing despite their objections, telling The Washington Post that "This is not a fair or good-faith investigation." Republicans insist Ford is the one moving the goalpost, vowing to testify, and then imposing conditions.
[Cuts to video]
DONALD TRUMP: I'd really want to see her. I really would want to see what she has to say.
CORDES: President Trump urged Kavanaugh's accuser today to testify, but rejected her request for an investigation first.
TRUMP: Well, it would seem that the FBI really doesn't do that.
CORDES: Democrats said the FBI does.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO: Excuse me, this is their job. This is their job. They vet all of our nominees.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER [Shouting at Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he left his home]: Should the FBI investigate the allegations?
CORDES: As Judge Brett Kavanaugh prepped for the hearing today, Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychologist, remained in hiding after accusing him of assaulting her at a high school party.
CORDES: Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley offered Ford a buffet of ways to tell her story.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY: Either in an open session or a closed session or a public or a private interviews. That's four different ways she can choose to come.
CORDES: But Republicans oppose the one option Democrats say would lead to the truth. What's wrong with allowing an FBI investigation?
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY: I don't have enough information to make that determination. I don't have any information.
CORDES: But isn't that why you do an FBI investigation?
KENNEDY: That's why you do a public hearing.
CORDES: The FBI did examine Anita Hill's harassment claims against Clarence Thomas in 1991.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH [from 1991]: These F.B.I. Reports are extremely important.
[Cuts back to live]
CORDES: In a new letter this evening, Grassley told Democrats that his committee aides can do this investigation themselves and that they're already reaching out to a number of potential witnesses. Republicans know that an FBI probe could be time consuming and unpredictable, and those are risks, Jeff, that they just don't want to take.
NBC Nightly News
September 19, 2018
7:01 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Good evening, everyone. We're following a cliffhanger tonight, a standoff between Senate Republicans anxious to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault. It's over what she now wants before agreeing to testify, an FBI investigation into her claims and what Republicans are willing to offer her, a public or private hearing on Monday. Tonight, as President Trump vouches for his nominee, lawyers for the woman at the center of this say she's getting death threats. Our Kristen Welker has details.
[Cuts to video]
KRISTEN WELKER: Tonight, the hearing in limbo after Christine Blasey Ford said she wants an FBI investigation into her allegation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a first step. President Trump urging her to testify on Monday.
DONALD TRUMP: I really want to see her. I really would want to see what she has to say.
WELKER: And answering the critical question, does he believe her?
TRUMP: I can only say this, he is such an outstanding man, very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.
WELKER: But notably, leaving the door open for a change.
TRUMP: If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we'll have to make a decision.
WELKER: Blasey Ford has received death threats, her lawyer says, forcing her to move out of her home with her children.
WELKER: Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations from more than three decades ago. In this case, only the White House can ask for an FBI investigation. Mr. Trump showing no signs that he’ll do that.
TRUMP: It would seem the FBI really doesn't do that. They’ve investigated.
WELKER: They would if you ask them to, Mr. President.
TRUMP: They investigated about six times before and it seems they don't do that.
WELKER: But in 1991, former President George H. W. Bush did call for an investigation into Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Clearance Thomas.
ANITA HILL: The hearing questions need to have a frame and the investigation is the best frame for that.