Biden hits GOP for 'invective, blind rage and brute partisanship' in Kavanaugh hearing

Biden hits GOP for 'invective, blind rage and brute partisanship' in Kavanaugh hearing
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE issued a blistering rebuke Friday of Senate Republicans' handling of the sexual assault allegations facing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“What we witnessed yesterday from the Republican Judiciary Committee members was a degree of invective, blind rage and brute partisanship that threatens not only the Senate and the Supreme Court — it threatens the basic faith in fairness and justice that binds this country together,” he wrote in a statement. 

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"Doctor Blasey Ford gave courageous, credible, and powerful testimony. I believed her. The country believed her," he added.

Biden's comments came one day after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in an emotional, hours-long hearing. 

Ford, speaking for the first time publicly about the allegations, told the committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when the two were in high school in the 1980s. She said she feared Kavanaugh would rape her and might accidentally kill her after he put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams for help.

Kavanaugh, testifying after Ford, fiercely denied the allegations, becoming visibly angry, red-faced and appearing to be on the verge of yelling at senators during his testimony.

Republicans hired a female outside counsel to question Ford and Kavanaugh as they tried to avoid the optics of 11 male senators questioning the 51-year-old professor, though she ultimately disappeared during Kavanaugh's testimony.

The committee on Friday voted 11-10 along party lines to send Kavanaugh’s confirmation to a Senate-wide vote, but won a weeklong delay for that vote so the FBI could investigate allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Kavanaugh by Ford.

“Doctor Blasey Ford deserves an FBI investigation today. The millions of women who have suffered sexual assault and abuse deserve an FBI investigation. The country deserves one. And for its reputation and legitimacy, the Supreme Court needs one too,” Biden added. 

Biden during his time in the Senate famously presided over the Anita Hill hearings regarding sexual misconduct accusations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. He was able to secure an FBI investigation into the allegations, which took three days. 

Biden has been criticized for failing to defend Hill, with critics saying the former Delaware senator did not do enough to de-escalate senators' questioning of her, which was famously rough and sometimes personal.

Despite resisting calls for an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE ordered a new investigation after Senate Republicans agreed to a one-week investigation.

“Well, it would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that. They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that,” Trump said last week, referring to background checks Kavanaugh has gone through in the past.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ariz.), however, triggered a new FBI investigation and a delay in Kavanaugh's nomination by saying Friday that he would withhold his confirmation vote unless an FBI investigation “limited in time and scope” was conducted into the allegations. Multiple senators, including Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns Stephen King: 'It's time for Susan Collins to go' MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Overnight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Alaska), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinRepublicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments MORE (D-W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampLobbying World Pro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA On The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight MORE (D-N.D.), followed suit. 

Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate and can only afford one GOP defection if the Democratic caucus unanimously votes against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.