Schumer: Kavanaugh accuser 'won America's hearts'

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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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 McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet 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 TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 FeinsteinGOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi Democratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals Grassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel 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 CollinsGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE (R-Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  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.