EXCLUSIVE: Senators Who Condemned Kavanaugh Refused To Denounce Fairfax

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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  • A number of Democrats who called for further investigations into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh refused to answer questions about sexual assault allegations that have emerged against Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
  • Fairfax has been accused of forced oral sex.
  • Democrats do not see a comparison between the accusations. 

Democratic senators who condemned Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct allegations refused to acknowledge the sexual assault allegations that have emerged against Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax when asked by The Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.

When asked if the same standard should be applied to Fairfax, a Democrat, as it was applied to Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, the five Democratic senators asked, who all opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation due to the allegations, all dodged the question or acted like they had not heard about it, despite the fact it has been major national news for nearly a week.

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and helped Kavanaugh’s accuser hire a legal team, told TheDCNF, “I don’t know Justin Fairfax.” When asked if the two should be compared she said, “No,” adding, “It’s really up to people in the area.”

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday that they “don’t have an investigation” into the accusations made by Fairfax’s accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson.

Kaine and Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner would not answer questions about the accusations when asked by TheDCNF Thursday, saying they were in a hurry to vote on the Senate floor.

Other senators who were against Kavanaugh’s confirmation said they do not see the comparison between a lieutenant governor and a Supreme Court Justice, despite the allegations.

“I don’t know how you can apply to somebody that’s in office now with somebody who is trying to get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. What I said though is consistent that accusers like that need to be heard, they need to be listened to, and those grievances need to be aired and something needs to be acted on in one way or another. That’s it,” Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones said to TheDCNF. 

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who questioned Kavanaugh during his confirmation process in regards to his testimony and some of his yearbook excerpts, saying he did not believe much of what he said in his testimony, said he does not know if he believes Fairfax’s accuser or not.

“I don’t know. I haven’t had the chance to see her. I did have the chance to see Dr. [Christine] Blasey Ford testify right in the room in front of me. So she had a chance to display great personal credibility. I have not seen this other witness or victim,” Whitehouse told TheDCNF.

“Well I think that with respect to Judge Kavanaugh you had a lengthy opportunity to examine his background,” Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said to TheDCNF. “I had never heard of this individual from Virginia until two days ago.”

However, while Kavanaugh was being accused of sexual misconduct, Wyden said in late September the hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee was not sufficient and called for a full investigation into Ford’s allegations.

“There are credible and serious allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and there needs to be a credible and serious process, rather than something where you just ram this thing through and then say, ‘Gee, I guess we’re too busy, for example, to even listen to witnesses!,'” Wyden said in September 2018 at a Planned Parenthood conference in Portland.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez refused to acknowledge the question, saying he does “not do hallway interviews,” but answered other reporters’ questions in the hallway. However, when Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct, Mendendez said he “just read the FBI report on Kavanaugh. If that’s an investigation, it’s a bullshit investigation,” in a Oct. 4 tweet.

TheDCNF asked Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders as he headed to vote on the floor of the Senate Tuesday if he believed Fairfax’s accuser. Sanders went along with Democratic senators, not responding to the question. Sanders refused to respond and had a staffer with him, who said he was too busy to answer questions, despite being on an escalator with no one else.

After he voted, he faked a phone call when asked the same question and was called out by TheDCNF.

During Kavanaugh’s confirmation process Sanders said “I listened to Dr. Ford, and I listened to Judge Kavanaugh. I believe Dr. Ford. Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the Supreme Court.”


Late Thursday afternoon, New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a vocal critic of Kavanaugh, came out in support of Fairfax’s accuser, saying “I support Dr. Tyson. She showed enormous courage in coming forward, and her very credible claims require investigation. In this country, institutional bias stacks against survivors, for the powerful. We have to support survivors first so their claims can be fully investigated,” in a tweet.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker also said this “is a deeply disturbing allegation that should be thoroughly investigated,” to reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

This comes after a majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would not discuss state legislature bills allowing late-term abortions, one day after Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam defended the “Repeal Act.” The proposed bill would remove restrictions on abortion in Virginia. The governor made controversial comments about late-term abortion, which he was criticized for by Republicans.

“If a mother is in labor … the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable,” Northam said. “The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and mother.” (RELATED: Democratic Senators Refuse To Acknowledge Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Fairfax Sexual Assault Accuser)

The comments received massive pushback from Republicans on Capitol Hill and across the country.

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Paul Ingrassia and Wyatt Dobrovich contributed to this report.

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