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“Let’s look at the facts, let’s investigate the allegations, let’s consider what that means for our view on this nominee—but let’s make sure this doesn’t become another 1991, and let’s make sure this doesn’t become another attack on a woman resulting in another chill on women everywhere”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Assistant Senate Democratic Leader and the highest-ranking woman in the United States Senate, delivered a speech on the Senate floor addressing recent reports of alleged sexual assault by President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and called on her Republican colleagues to delay any vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Over the past year we have made tremendous strides with the MeToo movement and the understanding, more and more, that sexual harassment and assault is not OK and cannot be tolerated, no matter how powerful the perpetrator. We have made tremendous strides with the understanding, more and more, that women who come forward should be listened to, heard, and believed—and that investigations and all appropriate actions should be taken once they have come forward to share their experiences. And we have made tremendous strides with the understanding, more and more, that women who come forward do so at great cost, that none of them want to have to do so, that all of them wish they had never been through what they went through—and that the idea that they are making it up for some personal gain or agenda is as wrong as it is offensive. We’ve made progress. But all of that progress is at stake if this is now allowed to become a replay of what happened to Anita Hill, and I am already seeing some troubling signs of some people going down that path,” said Senator Murray during her floor speech.

Watch video of Senator Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech below.

“M. President—once again, I want to thank Professor Ford for her bravery. This is not easy for anyone—nobody asks for this to happen to them—and I can only imagine the trauma and heartache involved in sharing and reliving a sexual assault like this. But she should know that I and millions of people are standing by her side and stand ready to help however we can.

“So M. President, I want to make three points.

“First, this nomination needs to be delayed—we absolutely cannot go forward with a Committee vote this Thursday.  The idea that this nomination would be jammed through given what we know now is almost unthinkable and would be shameful and wrong.

“Whatever one may think about the timing of this new information and the process that has taken us to this point, the fact is that Senators now have new information about a potential crime committed by a nominee for the highest court in the land and an individual who has come forward with details of the alleged criminal act, and we can’t simply ignore it.

“M. President, there is no urgency to fill this seat before October. Republicans held a Supreme Court seat open for more than a year in order to prevent President Obama from fulfilling his constitutional role. So surely we can take the time we need now in order to fulfill OUR constitutional role.

“To be very clear: we should have nine justices on the Supreme Court. But it is more important right now to slow down and make sure we have all the facts, all the information, and Senators have a chance to weigh that before casting a vote to a position of such importance.

“Second, we need a full, fair, and robust investigation into these allegations. And we need this to happen before anyone is brought in to testify, or re-testify to make sure that Senators have the information they need to ask the right questions and do their jobs.

“We saw what happened in 1991 when an accuser was brought in for questioning before the Senators had access to all of the corroborating information, and we cannot allow that to happen again.

“We saw the way Senators completely mishandled the questioning of Anita Hill when they didn’t have access to the facts, hadn’t yet heard from all the witnesses, and didn’t have a grasp of the information and her experience—and I am very worried that this would happen exactly this way again if we don’t take the time to do this right.

“There is no way a thorough investigation can be completed in time for a hearing on Monday.

“And that brings me to the third, and most important point: we cannot allow this to turn into another attack on a woman who has come forward to talk about her experience. We just can’t. The Senate needs to be better than that and I am going to do everything I can, with anyone who is willing to join me, to make sure that we are.

“I joined millions of women in 1991 in watching as Anita Hill was attacked, interrogated, and maligned on national television simply for sharing her experience.

“A generation of women watched what happened to her and were less likely to share their own stories and more likely to let their attackers and harassers off the hook—because they saw what happened to Anita Hill at the hands of the United States Senate and they didn’t want anything like that to happen to them.

“That cannot happen again.

“An all-male Judiciary committee dropped the ball in 1991, and we cannot allow an all-male Republican side of the Judiciary Committee do the same in 2018.

“Over the past year we have made tremendous strides with the MeToo movement and the understanding, more and more, that sexual harassment and assault is not OK and cannot be tolerated, no matter how powerful the perpetrator.

“We have made tremendous strides with the understanding, more and more, that women who come forward should be listened to, heard, and believed—and that investigations and all appropriate actions should be taken once they have come forward to share their experiences.

“And we have made tremendous strides with the understanding, more and more, that women who come forward do so at great cost—none of them want to have to do so, all of them wish they had never been through what they went through, and that the idea that they are making it up for some personal gain or agenda is as wrong as it is offensive.

“We’ve made progress. But all of that progress is at stake if this is now allowed to become a replay of what happened to Anita Hill, and I am already seeing some troubling signs of some people going down that path.

“Right away, some Republicans have shifted into attack mode—attacking the process, starting to attack the accuser.

“I can only imagine that Republicans are getting ready to attack and interrogate Professor Ford in a misguided attempt to protect Judge Kavanaugh and put politics ahead of their jobs as United States Senators and their duty to their constituents.

“We cannot allow attacks like that to happen.

“I urge all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, to put a stop whenever they see it.

“Let’s look at the facts, let’s investigate the allegations, let us consider what that means for our view on this nominee—but let’s make sure this doesn’t become another 1991, and let’s make sure this doesn’t become another attack on a woman resulting in another chill on women everywhere.

“Thank you.”