Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey wasn’t about to let CNN’s Chris Cuomo browbeat him on questions related to Brett Kavanaugh.
In fact, Mukasey effectively turned the tables on the CNN host in an interview Thursday discussing the events surrounding the confirmation of the US Supreme Court nominee.
Cuomo set up the segment by trying to blame the White House for mishandling the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two teens were at a party more than three decades ago.
The CNN host argued that it was better for President Donald Trump to at least appear that everything possible is being done to give Ford her due process, by allowing an FBI investigation into the claims and giving the accuser and the accused equal time to tell their stories.
“Sure, you’d want that to be the impression, but you want to look at the circumstances in which this arose,” Mukasey, the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, replied.
“This arose, in part, based on the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee receiving an anonymous letter from somebody who says she was trying to protect her anonymity,” Mukasey noted. “Now, if you were trying to protect your anonymity, would you send a letter to the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee? No.”
Cuomo admitted he understood the “suspicion” but suggested it was a case of “if I wanted you to know something but I didn’t want you to expose me.”
“If you wanted me to know something so that I could use and the candidate could be derailed, the only way that’s going to happen is if the facts come out,” Mukasey replied.
But when the CNN host suggested “there was some naiveté going on on the part of Christine Ford if she thought it would be kept quiet.”
Mukasey was much more direct.
“She’d have to have been numb in order to believe anything else,” he said. “And she wasn’t numb. There was a mutual interest in delay that was served by giving the letter to Senator Feinstein who then kept it until the hearing was over, and then tried to start the clock again and you can’t encourage that kind of behavior.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a political decision, the former AG added, and should not play out in a court room to be decided.
“And part of that political decision is whether you want to encourage that kind of behavior, and I don’t think you do,” he told Cuomo who could not see the motive behind a delay on the part of Democrats.
“There is delay for the purpose of pushing it beyond the midterms. That is the perceived goal,” Mukasey explained.
When Cuomo argued that the boxes could be checked and the witnesses called, ending the entire thing in a few days. But his guest again exposed the reality that Democrats would continue to call for witnesses as a way to drag out the process and delay the vote.
Muksaey continued to turn up the heat on Cuomo, bringing up a guest on another day who, as a longtime friend of Ford’s, defended and backed her accusations against Kavanaugh.
“The one question I was dying to hear and never heard was, ‘When for the first time did you first hear about this?’” Mukasey said, with Cuomo replying, “Now.”
“Okay. What does that tell you?” he pressed. “It tells you also that there’s no corroboration.”
Ford allegedly told her husband and therapist in 2012, as well as some friends, Cuomo noted.
“Friends?” Mukasey asked. “We haven’t heard from any of those friends. … How do you know she talked to friends?”
“You’re making a good point. Do we know for sure? No.” Cuomo admitted.
“I guess you’re right, you don’t want to reward bad political behavior,” he concluded, conceding to Mukasey’s point.
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