GOP senator at Kavanaugh hearing: 'Porn star lawyers' are driving the news cycle

GOP senator at Kavanaugh hearing: 'Porn star lawyers' are driving the news cycle
© Greg Nash

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThis week: Congress set for next stage of Mueller probe fight NY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders MORE (R-Utah) launched a passionate defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during an extraordinary public hearing on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hatch, who has stood by Kavanaugh throughout the nomination process, claimed the frenzy surrounding Kavanaugh is "worse than [Robert] Bork" and "worse than [Justice] Clarence Thomas." 

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Bork's nomination to the Senate was ultimately rejected, and Thomas was confirmed after a high-profile hearing with Anita Hill, a woman accusing him of sexual harassment. 

"If Judge Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, he should not serve on the Supreme Court, I think we’d all agree with that," Hatch said, openly agitated. 

He said the process "has brought out the worst in our politics."

"It certainly has brought us no closer to the truth," Hatch said.

"Anonymous letters with no name and no return address are now being treated as national news," he continued, referring to reports that circulated on Wednesday night indicating the Judiciary Committee asked Kavanaugh about an anonymous complaint from a woman who said he physically assaulted her daughter.

"Porn star lawyers with facially implausible claims are driving the news cycle," Hatch continued. Michael Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels in her case against the president, this week announced he is representing Julie Swetnick, a woman accusing Kavanaugh of engaging in a pattern of exploitative behavior with women in high school.

"I hate to say this but this is worse than Robert Bork and I didn’t think it could get any worse than that," Hatch said. "This is worse than Clarence Thomas. I didn’t think it could get any worse than that." 

Hatch called the hearing a "national disgrace," echoing the frustrated appeal by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamConservation remains a core conservative principle Graham: McCain 'acted appropriately' by handing Steele dossier to FBI The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight MORE (R-S.C.) from earlier in the hearing.

Hatch multiple times mentioned that the allegations date back to Kavanaugh's "teenage years." 

"We're talking about Judge Kavanaugh's conduct in high school," Hatch said.

Ford related her allegation in painstaking detail during the first part of the public hearing, after which Hatch told reporters Ford was "not un-credible." 

She stated unequivocally multiple times that she is sure Kavanaugh was the man who assaulted her when she was 15 years old, pinning her down and putting his hand over her mouth. Kavanaugh in his 45-minute opening remarks forcefully denied the accusation, saying he never assaulted Ford.