To Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., there is no presumption of innocence for Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who’s battling accusations of sexual misconduct. Instead, the judge must prove it, Coons charged on Monday.
Responding to a clip MSNBC host Katy Tur played of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling the allegations against Kavanaugh a “shameful smear campaign,” Coons said this type of attitude is the reason so many victims of sexual assault never speak out.
"It is Judge Kavanaugh who is seeking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, and who I think now bears the burden of disproving these allegations, rather than Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez …” he said.
Coons’s remarks echo those of his Democratic colleague Sen. Mazie Hirono, who suggested Kavanaugh does not enjoy the presumption of innocence given how he “approaches his cases.”
Kavanaugh said Monday he refuses to be bullied into stepping down.
"As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be,” he said in a letter to the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee Committee. “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”
He also appeared on Fox News Monday night with his wife to maintain his innocence and ask for a fair process.