Flake: Kavanaugh initially sounded like someone who had been ‘unjustly accused’

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday evening that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's opening statement at a hearing on sexual assault allegations was consistent with that of someone who has been unjustly accused. 

"When I heard him, I heard someone who I hope I would sound like, if I had been unjustly accused," Flake told CBS's "60 Minutes" when asked about Kavanaugh's judicial temperament.

“If I was unjustly accused, that’s how I would feel, as well. And as it went on — I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

“But the statement in the beginning, I thought was pretty raw but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused.”

Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday to testify regarding Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that he sexually assaulted her at a party in the summer of 1982.

He choked up as he spoke about his family and fired back at senators who questioned him. He also said he was the target of a Democratic smear campaign.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger at President Trump and the 2016 election," Kavanaugh said in his opening statements. "I've never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in college, not in high school, not ever."

Kavanaugh's confirmation has been delayed after Flake called for a weeklong FBI investigation into the allegations against him. Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation as well as those of other women who have come forward. 

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsHillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources To safeguard our elections, Democrats and Republicans must work together MORE (D-Del.), who appeared on the CBS show with Flake, said Kavanaugh’s exchanges with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats Senate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats: A moment in history, use it wisely The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus MORE (D-Minn.) “went over a line.”

“He was clearly belligerent — aggressive, angry. And I thought there was — a tough dynamic there. As I watched him, part of me thought ‘This is a man who believes that he did nothing wrong, and he is completely unjustly accused. And he’s being railroaded. And he’s furious about it.’ "

Coons said, however, that Kavanaugh’s testimony made him wonder about his suitability to serve on the bench.