WASHINGTON — Several Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee walked out of the Friday morning proceedings in protest of the decision to proceed with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the afternoon — just hours after he and professor Christine Blasey Ford had testified before the panel about her allegations that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens.
Moments before the walkout, Blumenthal had introduced a motion to subpoena Mark Judge. It did not pass.
The lawmakers who walked out included Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Kamala Harris of California, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Just moments earlier, Blumenthal had introduced a motion to subpoena Mark Judge that did not pass.
“I’m not going to participate in this charade anymore,” Hirono told reporters at an impromptu news conference outside the hearing room.
“From top to bottom this has been about bullies,” Harris told reporters. “Listen to the people. All we have asked for is that there be an FBI investigation.”
Harris had remained silent when it came time to cast her vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, as did Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Later on Twitter, Harris wrote: “This hearing is a sham and Dr. Ford and the American people deserve better.”
Several other Democratic senators also called for testimony from Mark Judge, whom Ford said was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her. Judge, a recovering alcoholic, sent a letter to the committee on Thursday evening saying that he had not been asked to testify and would not do, and refuting Ford’s allegations.
After the Democratic senators left the hearing, several female House members in attendance stood up together in the rear of the room then also left. They subsequently joined the protesting senators at the news conference to show their support for them.