Schumer: Kavanaugh accuser 'won America's hearts'

Schumer: Kavanaugh accuser 'won America's hearts'
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "won America's hearts" with her testimony last week.

"Dr. Ford came forward and won America's hearts. And our Republican colleagues were upset 'cause that might derail their headlong rush to put Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court," Schumer said.

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The Senate Democratic leader also again criticized Republicans' behavior toward Ford, accusing them of demeaning her.

"It's wrong what our Republican friends are doing, what my dear friend the Leader is doing, is demeaning to Dr. Ford," Schumer said Thursday, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial On The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday McConnell: Senate impeachment trial will begin in January MORE (R-Ky.)

Ford claimed Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to take off her clothes without her consent at a party in 1982. Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied the accusation. GOP senators say the allegations remain uncorroborated after viewing the FBI's report regarding its renewed investigation.

Democrats have not mentioned any new evidence contained in the report, but have argued that the investigation was too narrow to be sufficiently thorough.

"If you're talking about partisan histrionics, if you're talking about politics of personal destruction, if you're talking about being intimidated, if you're talking about outrageous smears, you are really accusing Dr. Ford of all those things," Schumer said. "Not anyone else."

Schumer said those actions were demeaning to Ford.

"And demeaning is the last thing that Dr. Ford and others who have gone through what she had gone through need now. Or deserves now," he said.

Schumer has criticized McConnell in the past over his comments regarding Ford. The Senate majority leader in a floor speech had said Democrats were using Ford's allegations to "smear" Kavanaugh. Schumer called for McConnell to apologize.

His most recent comments come not long after President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE mocked Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a Mississippi rally. Trump launched into an imitation of Ford, making fun of her answers to senators' questions regarding her allegations. The president's mockery prompted laughter and applause from the audience.

Republicans have accused Democrats of wielding Ford and her allegation against Kavanaugh as a political weapon. They have also accused Democrats of mishandling Ford's allegation, which Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE (D-Calif.) received privately in July, before Ford went public with her allegations in an interview with The Washington Post. 

Feinstein has said she did not bring Ford's allegation to anyone on the committee or to investigators sooner to respect Ford's wish for confidentiality. Republicans have accused her of leaking the letter from Ford to the press, something Feinstein has denied.

Additionally, Republicans have said that Democrats have whipped up threats and intimidation against them. Two potential swing senators, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Group of veterans call on lawmakers to support impeachment, 'put country over politics' Defense bill includes fix for military families' survivor benefits MORE (R-Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ariz.), have both reported receiving threats.

The Senate is set to conduct a procedural vote regarding Kavanaugh's nomination Friday and complete a final vote as soon as Saturday.