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Orrin Hatch, other politicians react to allegations against Bret Kavanaugh

Posted at 5:36 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 19:36:39-04

WASHINGTON -- Some would call it a case of deja-vu.

“What's unfolded this past week is terrible. What I find the most ironic is that many have tried to turn this issue into a referendum on sexual harassment. Let me say this is not a referendum on sexual harassment. We all deplore sexual harassment,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, 27 years ago, after Anita Hill came forward accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing.

The Salt Lake Tribune's Washington bureau chief, Thomas Burr, says Senator Hatch's response then is pretty similar to his response now, as allegations of sexual misconduct have come out against Brett Kavanaugh.

“The senator at the time said that Anita Hill's story was contrived that he believed she was actually lying, that she making it up to stall the confirmation of Clarence Thomas… The senator said this week that he believes that the accuser, Dr. Ford, is mistaken. He thinks somebody is mixed up in how they\'re recounting this story,” said Burr.

Christine Blasey Ford, a California research psychologist, claims Brett Kavanaugh pinned her down and touched her inappropriately during a high school party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, which Hatch seems to accept.

“Senator Mike Lee has also been a big defender of Brett Kavanaugh, but he has been a little more circumspect since we learned on the Washington Post on Sunday who this alleged victim was, when she came forward. The senator said he looks forward to hearing more from Dr. Ford,” said Burr.

As for Hatch's potential replacements, Mitt Romney says "her accusation is serious; she deserves to be given a full and respectful opportunity to testify before the judiciary committee."

Democratic candidate, Jenny Wilson called the allegations credible and disturbing saying the Senate "should delay their vote until a thorough, public, and transparent investigation is completed."

Both Kavanaugh and Ford are both scheduled to testify about the allegations in front of the judiciary committee on Monday.

To read more about this latest confirmation delay and what our local senators are saying about it, read Thomas Burr's article in the Salt Lake Tribune here.