U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) offered a reasonable suggestion for Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the sexual assault allegation directed at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

She believes time should be given to Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney to question Kavanaugh and for Kavanaugh’s attorney to question Ford. 

She tweeted: 

I think this would be far more productive than just having Senators ask questions. The response from at least two groups on the left was, well, insane.

Shaunna Thomas, the founder of UltraViolet, said that Collins was “dead wrong.”

Senator Susan Collins is dead wrong. Her call for Brett Kavanaugh’s attorney to cross examine Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is beyond shameful. Let me say this as clearly as humanly possible, Christine Blasey Ford is not on trial here. This is not a trial. It is Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault hearing and a job interview for the highest court on the land and the burden of proof is solely on Brett Kavanaugh. Comments like this by Susan Collins, just like the comments by Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham, show why Republicans are totally unqualified to hold this hearing.

Then Heidi Hess, a co-director from CREDO Action, accused Collins of trying to put Ford on trial.

Sen. Collins seems to have forgotten that Brett Kavanaugh is the one who has been accused of a crime, not Christine Blasey Ford. Senate Republicans must not attempt to put Christine Blasey Ford on trial or otherwise use Monday’s hearing to attack her character. Christine Blasey Ford has offered an extremely credible account of sexual misconduct committed by Brett Kavanaugh. The burden of proof rests exclusively with Brett Kavanaugh, who has shown repeatedly in recent weeks that he has no problem lying under oath to advance his career.

First, no this is not a trial per se, but she is one of three witnesses to this alleged event. To try to get to the truth of what happened, she needs to be questioned. This proposal is reasonable.

Second, calling her account “extremely credible” is nonsense. Human memory after 36 years fades. The other two witnesses (Kavanaugh and Mark Judge) say it didn’t happen. It is vague on details. There are discrepancies with her testimony and the therapist’s notes she provided to The Washington Post. There is no corroborative evidence. There are no other accusations. Yes, she should be heard because this is a serious allegation, but it is not an “extremely credible” one.

Third, the burden of proof is on the accused? I am so thankful that is not how our legal system works. How in the world could Judge Kavanaugh defend himself against a 36-year-old accusation? The FBI refused to investigate this. Ford did not offer a specific date so he can’t even provide an alibi. She did not give an exact location. The only thing Kavanaugh can do is provide a categorical denial, which he has.

According to Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley’s office, they have begun to conduct interviews ahead of Monday’s public hearing. They state interviews with committee counsel are typically transcribed and witnesses are informed that it is a federal crime to provide false testimony and can result in up to five years in prison. They have already interviewed Kavanaugh. Requests to Ford’s attorney have gone unanswered.

How are we supposed to take this allegation seriously when the accuser won’t submit to an interview under oath? 

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