Giuliani: Schumer would believe ‘anybody’ to hurt Trump

Giuliani: Schumer would believe ‘anybody’ to hurt Trump
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Rudy Giuliani waded into the controversy over the Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual assault on Thursday evening, blaming Democrats for — as he sees it — putting partisan enmity above all else.

In a phone interview with The Hill, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE's lawyer took aim at Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerPush to pay congressional interns an hour gains traction with progressives House approves two-week spending measure to avert shutdown Manchin’s likely senior role on key energy panel rankles progressives MORE (D-N.Y.).

“These people like Schumer, who says, ‘I believe her’? Well, I mean, you haven’t even talked to her,” Giuliani told The Hill. “He will believe anybody to hurt Trump, or to put this confirmation off.”

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Schumer has stated he believes the account given by Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a 1982 party, when they were both high school students. Kavanaugh, Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, has emphatically denied the allegations.

On Monday Schumer tweeted: “I believe Professor Ford. If the FBI conducts a thorough investigation and the American people hear from her and Judge Kavanaugh, I think a majority of senators will find her credible.”

When it comes to who he thinks is telling the truth between Kavanaugh and Ford, Giuliani said, “I guess you have to try to keep an open mind. I’m not one of those people who can say without a shadow of doubt.”

But he swiftly added, “I trust Judge Kavanaugh. I have no reason not to.”

A short time later, Giuliani reiterated the point, saying: “I know the man. I have no reason to believe he has ever done anything like this.”

The allegations against Kavanaugh have consumed the political world, especially since Ford gave up her anonymity in an interview published by The Washington Post on Sunday.

Democrats and liberal activists have demanded that the confirmation process for Kavanaugh be paused in order to let the FBI investigate the allegations.

Republicans and conservatives have been more suspicions of her claims, with many suggesting they are a partisan gambit to derail Trump’s high court pick. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee had been poised to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Thursday. The vote was postponed soon after Ford’s allegations became public. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower House set to vote on bill cracking down on drug companies overcharging Medicaid Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform MORE (R-Iowa), set a special hearing for Monday to allow Kavanaugh and Ford to testify.

The tale has had several twists, however. Ford at one stage appeared unwilling to testify on Monday, insisting an investigation should take place first. Republican senators appeared to coalesce behind Kavanaugh after Ford took that stance.

Late on Thursday, Ford opened the door to testifying next week. Multiple reports suggest she is wiling to do so, but on Thursday, not Monday. It was not immediately clear whether Grassley would accede to that request.

Giuliani, a former prosecutor, contended that the call for an FBI investigation was not reasonable, since the alleged crime would come under the jurisdiction of the state in which it took place — Maryland — not the federal system.

He acknowledged that the FBI does carry out background checks on Supreme Court nominees and others, but he said that the specifics of the Kavanaugh controversy did not fit that framework.

“I don’t see how the FBI could get involved,” Giuliani said. “They’d really have to stretch this whole area of ‘background investigation.’”

Giuliani has been extremely critical of high-ranking figures in the FBI — notably former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator NRCC breach exposes gaps 2 years after Russia hacks Trump lashes out at Comey over House testimony: 'All lies!' MORE — during his time representing the president. And Trump himself has bucked the bureau, as when he approved the release of the so-called Nunes Memo over FBI objections in February. 

Giuliani insisted that his views on the Kavanaugh matter were unrelated to his work for Trump.

Saying that he had stayed out of internal deliberations about Kavanaugh, the former New York City mayor said:

“Look, I’m representing the president. I would certainly like to see Judge Kavanaugh get through but, if he does or not, it has nothing to do with the case” around Trump.

Giuliani, a Republican who sought the presidency in 2008, was also sharply critical of Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFocus on Yemen, not the Saudi crown prince Senators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Mattis: Investigation into killing of Khashoggi is ongoing MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein received a letter from Ford outlining her story in late July. Feinstein did not immediately do anything with that letter, a decision she has ascribed to a desire to protect Ford’s anonymity. 

But Republicans are critical of the California senator’s decision to wait until last week before referring the matter to the FBI. Feinstein did not raise the matter with Kavanaugh in his public hearings or, apparently, in closed session.

“I have no idea what she thought she was doing,” Giuliani said, adding that in regard to her receipt of Ford’s original letter, “she had an absolute obligation to share it with the chairman of the committee.”

The former mayor contended that the politics of the Kavanaugh controversy would ultimately play out in the GOP’s favor, however.

“I don’t know how the credibility issue is going to play out — I haven’t seen them yet,” he said, referring to Kavanaugh and Ford. 

“But no matter how it plays out, the Democrats have handled this horribly. How can you justify holding onto this and then it coming out at the last minute?”