CNN may have some regrets after asking a “group of expert commentators” about their reaction to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford.
While the commentators delivered a predictable narrative on the testimonies of the Supreme Court nominee and the woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her nearly four decades ago, one of the group went rogue.
Citing facts as the basis and not the spectacle that unfolded, CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, gave a no-nonsense assessment of why he was in favor of the Senate confirming Kavanaugh, while delivering a scathing appraisal of Ford’s testimony and Democrats’ behavior.
“Many Americans will ultimately come away from Thursday’s hearing feeling disgusted not over the character of Judge Brett Kavanaugh but that of those Democratic senators who attempted, on the weakest of evidence, to portray the judge as an attempted rapist,” Callan wrote. “Their strongest documentary evidence appeared to be inscriptions about beer drinking in his high school yearbook.”
Noting that courts of law are where claims of criminal conduct are to be resolved, Callan argued that Ford did not meet the standard for delivering the missing pieces in her story.
“America’s founding fathers wisely designated courts of law as the place where claims of criminal conduct such as sexual assault are resolved. They knew that such serious claims can only be thoroughly investigated and finally resolved by a judge or jury at a fair trial,” Callan wrote.
“Hundreds of years of experience has demonstrated that the truthfulness of witnesses can best be tested in the crucible of cross-examination. Christine Blasey Ford faced no such test before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday,” he added. “She made a very good initial impression but failed to fill in the troubling gaps in her story.”
He contrasted Ford’s inability to corroborate many of her claims with the committee’s “felony penalty” statements obtained from three witnesses who said they knew nothing about the incident.
“Effective cross-examination of a critical witness cannot be conducted in five-minute segments interrupted by senators giving speeches praising the honesty and courage of the witness,” Callan wrote. “This was not a serious examination of the truthfulness of Ford or Kavanaugh but a staged spectacle.”
“Had this been a court proceeding, the charges against Kavanaugh would likely have been dismissed or a verdict of ‘not guilty’ rendered,” he concluded. “On the evidence adduced at the Kavanaugh hearings, the verdict of the Senate should be that his nomination is confirmed.”
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