The tensions bred by the contentious confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took another disturbing turn Thursday afternoon. According to reports, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) has recently discovered that the women who staff his office have been receiving threats from Kavanaugh backers. As AL.com’s Howard Koplowitz reported:
“The hate and ugliness I have witnessed is unprecedented, and I hope, God I hope, does not reflect who we really are as Americans, and it has been on both sides,” Jones said in a conference call with reporters. “I’ve even had callers telling the young women who’ve answered my phones that they hope they are sexually assaulted.”
For the past week, Capitol Hill has been the locus of fervent protest and direct action, stemming from allegations that Kavanaugh participated in a sexual assault of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, when both were high school students in the Washington Metropolitan area. Those allegations, which were the subject of a one-day hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are the focus of a just-completed FBI investigation. The FBI was only give a week to complete the inquiry and did not interview numerous witnesses with potentially relevant information, raising questions about whether it was really intended to uncover the truth.
Jones’ claims of abuse meted out to his staffers come on the heels of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday evening rally in Mississippi. There, his remarks on the Kavanaugh hearings took a darker turn as he entertained those assembled with a lengthy monologue lampooning Ford and her claims. Previously, the president had attempted to approach the ongoing matter in more measured and civil terms, telling reporters that while he continued to support Kavanaugh’s nomination, he nonetheless thought that Ford’s testimony was “compelling” and that she was “a very credible witness.”
Jones, who has indicated that he plans to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination, is as critical of the confirmation process as he is about the treatment of his staff. “I believe it was flawed from the very beginning,” he told reporters, adding, “It will be incomplete at the end because of the needless rush for confirmation.” Jones, who supports Kavanaugh’s right to defend himself against Ford’s charges, further said that he found the nominee’s conduct during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings to be “unbecoming,” and that the just-completed FBI investigation was far too limited to resolve the dispute.
“They will never get to the bottom of this at all,” he said.