“The spectacle of this week was one of the most pathetic, disheartening, saddest displays to which this nation has ever stood witness,” Pirro said on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “It was for all intents and purposes a crucifixion of a man who has led the kind of exemplary life few of us can mirror.”
Kavanaugh is facing sexual-assault allegations that have disrupted his all-but-assured nomination to the Supreme Court and the Republicans' chance to shift the judiciary to the right for decades to come. The stunning drama that unfolded this past week — the highlights of which were Ford’s gut-wrenching account of what she said happened to her 36 years ago and Kavanaugh’s pained denial — has laid bare the hyperpartisan battle over what is supposed to be the least partisan branch of government. All of this is happening just weeks before midterm elections that could dictate which party controls Congress.
Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor from California, said Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her down on a bed, groped her and covered her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes during a house party in Maryland in the 1980s, when the two were in high school.
Kavanaugh, 53, has forcefully denied the allegations, as well as those leveled by two other women: Deborah Ramirez, who accused him of exposing himself to her when they were first-year students at Yale University, and Julie Swetnick, who said she witnessed Kavanaugh and other boys lining up to rape inebriated girls at high school house parties.
Without blatantly attacking Ford — even calling her a credible witness and a “lovely lady” — Pirro cast doubt on her allegations by recounting the missing and basic details that Ford has acknowledged she could not remember. The four people who Ford said were at the party have all said “nothing happened,” Pirro argued, though that’s not quite accurate.
Ford said three other boys, Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth and one whose name she couldn’t remember, as well as her friend Leland Ingham Keyser were at the party. None explicitly said nothing happened during that summer of 1982. Judge and Smyth, Kavanaugh’s high school friends, said that they don’t remember or know of the party in question and that they never witnessed the behavior Ford had described during the course of their friendship with Kavanaugh.
Keyser also said she has no recollection of the alleged party, but she said she believes Ford.
Pirro questioned why Ford came forward with her allegations more than three decades later and why Kavanaugh’s name was not mentioned in notes from a session six years ago when Ford talked to a therapist about the alleged assault. She also suggested that Ford might have been hypnotized into recalling “whatever traumatic event occurred,” though there has been no evidence to support that.
“I believe something happened to her,” Pirro said, mirroring Kavanaugh’s assertion that Ford may have been sexually assaulted, just not by him. “But she’s in over her head, and she is being used.”
Pirro, a former judge and prosecutor in Westchester County, N.Y., also unloaded on Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) over his 11th-hour call for an FBI investigation into the allegations against President Trump’s nominee. The decision delayed by another week a Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Flake, one of the president’s fiercest Republican critics, had initially announced he would endorse the nominee. Shortly afterward, two women who described themselves as sexual-assault survivors blocked Flake’s elevator and tearily urged him to reconsider his position. The dramatic scene in an already dramatic week unfolded live on CNN.
Flake called for a renewed investigation after a private meeting with Democrats, angering conservatives and a cadre of Fox News personalities. Pirro accused Flake of gutlessness, of balking after two women screamed at him, though it’s unclear what exactly caused Flake’s last-minute change of heart. She also addressed one of the women who confronted the senator.
“What does your abuse have to do with Brett Kavanaugh?” Pirro said. “Hundreds of thousands of women have been abused in this country. Take your anger out on the person who abused you. Go to court, convict him, send him to jail, spit on him, I don’t care. But don’t you dare blame Brett Kavanaugh for your victimization.”
“Poor Dr. Ford,” Pirro said later, after going over grievances against certain Democrats. “This woman doesn’t know she was nothing more than a puppet on the string of Democratic politics.”
Pirro is known for her controversial remarks and fiery personality. In July, she and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg yelled at each other on live television. Pirro is also among Trump’s most ardent defenders on cable news, which the president watches regularly. If Fox News’s Sean Hannity is the cable news equivalent to a chief of staff, as The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan and Sarah Ellison had recently put it, Pirro is the de facto attorney general who rails against the president’s real attorney general, Jeff Sessions.