News Releases

Restrictions placed on FBI by White House and Republican leaders prevented investigators from conducting key interviews  with relevant witness—including with Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh themselves 

Senator Murray: “Once again, the voices of women and their experiences have been silenced and pushed aside.” 

Senator Murray reminded her colleagues of the Senate’s poor handling of Anita Hill’s allegations in 1991, and called upon them to do better now 

Senator Murray: “I am confident that if women and their voices are attacked, undermined, and disrespected once again—we’re going to see a wave of anger, frustration, and activism that makes 1992 look like a ripple.” 

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

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) took to the Senate floor to share her deep concerns with Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and her alarm at the restrictions that were placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in its efforts to investigate allegations of sexual assault made against Judge Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others. In her speech after viewing the FBI’s report to the Senate, Senator Murray made it clear that the restrictions placed on the Bureau are unacceptable, and that she is deeply concerned that many relevant witnesses—including Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh—weren’t even interviewed. Senator Murray recalled the many reasons she found Dr. Ford credible during her testimony last week, as well as the many reasons believes Judge Kavanaugh was not.

Senator Murray also highlighted the serious concerns with Judge Kavanaugh’s temperament.

She reminded her colleagues how she was inspired to run for Congress after watching how poorly Anita Hill was treated by an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, and urged them not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Senator Murray urged Republicans to stop the mad dash to a finish on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Below are key excerpts and the full text of Senator Murray’s remarks, which can also be viewed here.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“This morning I went in for a briefing on the new FBI investigation, and it was very clear, to anyone who reviewed the material— that Senate Republican leaders and President Trump cut the FBI off and refused to allow them to conduct the comprehensive and thorough investigation promised to Democrats and Republicans. Instead, this was rigged from the start to protect Judge Kavanaugh. Because here is what we know—and this has been reported in the press: Dr. Ford wasn’t interviewed despite her repeated requests. We know Judge Kavanaugh wasn’t questioned again. We’ve heard from so many other witnesses who were desperate to talk to the FBI because they had relevant information that they wanted to share in confidence, and as far as we know, they were never even contacted.”

“First and foremost, M. President, I believe Dr. Ford. She has absolutely no reason to lie—and she had no interest in making this public before she was compelled to, citing her civic duty. M. President—we all saw her at that hearing. Like so many people across the country, I was riveted. And I watched with tears in my eyes. Dr. Ford was so brave. So compelling. So real.”

“… time and again, in his initial hearing and then even further in his second hearing, Judge Kavanaugh made it clear he has serious issues with the truth.  He testified under oath—directly to Senators—and made claims that simply defy belief, on issues big and small. Again and again, he made claims that were contradicted—either through emails that were uncovered, or from others who felt compelled to come forward after hearing what he said that simply didn’t align with what they knew to be true. M. President, if we can’t trust what he has said to us on those issues—if we know some of what he said is simply false—how can we trust him on so many other issues?”

“Because M. President, if this does end up being jammed through as Republican leaders currently intend, it would completely undermine the public’s trust in the credibility of the Supreme Court as information continues to come out from investigations that will continue whether or not he is confirmed. It would eliminate any remaining trust people have in Senate Republican leaders to allow us to fulfill our constitutional advice and consent role and not simply be a rubber stamp for President Trump. And it would cause tremendous anger and backlash across the country from those who are shocked to see the voices of women and survivors ignored like this.”

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“M. President, I come to the floor today to join in opposition to Judge Kavanaugh and to call on my colleagues to join me in voting against this mad dash to jam through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

“M. President, last week Democrats and Republicans stood together to ask Republican leaders to allow the bare minimum—an FBI investigation into the new allegations that have come in. This wasn’t an unreasonable request—it happens all the time with nominees—and for far less important positions than a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

“And it is the very least that should be done when serious allegations like these were made— to make sure we are hearing from all relevant witnesses and bringing all relevant information in for consideration.

“But M. President—this simply hasn’t happened.

“This morning I went in for a briefing on the new FBI investigation, and it was very clear, to anyone who reviewed the material— that Senate Republican leaders and President Trump cut the FBI off and refused to allow them to conduct the comprehensive and thorough investigation promised to Democrats and Republicans.

“Instead, this was rigged from the start to protect Judge Kavanaugh. Because here is what we know—and this has been reported in the press: Dr. Ford wasn’t interviewed despite her repeated requests. We know Judge Kavanaugh wasn’t questioned again. We’ve heard from so many other witnesses who were desperate to talk to the FBI because they had relevant information that they wanted to share in confidence, and as far as we know, they were never even contacted.

“And now, Senators had to line up to read a single copy of the limited FBI report over the course the day, we are not allowed to share what we see or even take any notes out of the room, and we are not permitted to ask the FBI agents who actually conducted the investigation any questions.

“Although I am not permitted to share what I heard and read in the briefing today, I can say that absolutely nothing I saw makes me believe Dr. Ford any less.

“And in fact, based on what I saw I am even more concerned about the veracity of some of what we heard from Judge Kavanaugh. But even more important than anything we saw was how much we weren’t able to see because the investigation was so limited.

“And once again, the voices of women and their experiences have been silenced and pushed aside.

“So M. President, the questions everyone should be asking right now are: What are Republican leaders so afraid the FBI would find if they were allowed to take the full week to truly conduct a thorough investigation and talk to additional relevant witnesses? What are they trying to hide? And why won’t they allow this to be done right when we are talking about a nomination to the highest court in the land?

“So M. President, I come to the floor to make three points—to urge my colleagues to vote no and stop this mad dash to a rushed confirmation. First, I am going to talk about what we know about the serious and credible allegations against Judge Kavanaugh by Dr. Ford and others. Second, I am going to run through, once again, the serious credibility problems that have been raised regarding Judge Kavanaugh. And finally, I am going to highlight, once again, the real temperament concerns so many of us have based on what we saw from Judge Kavanaugh at the last hearing.

“First and foremost, M. President, I believe Dr. Ford.

“She has absolutely no reason to lie—and she had no interest in making this public before she was compelled to, citing her civic duty.

“M. President—we all saw her at that hearing. Like so many people across the country, I was riveted. And I watched with tears in my eyes. Dr. Ford was so brave. So compelling. So real.

“The memories she recounted were heartbreaking. The fear she felt when she was being attacked. The relief she felt when she finally made it out of the house. The laughter between Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge that she will never forget. The fact that she is 100 percent sure it was Brett Kavanaugh who attacked her.

“Millions of people watched her—and so many women and survivors were inspired by her bravery. M. President—Dr. Ford made a credible allegation of a serious offense—and that needs to be taken seriously.

“We have also heard from other women—Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Swetnick—with experiences of their own to share. They should be listened to, they should be heard, we should presume they are telling the truth, and Republican leaders should allow a full investigation into their allegations.

“Because in the end, M. President, despite what some Republicans tried to claim—this is not a trial. We are not supposed to weigh evidence and make a judgement about innocence or guilt. Our job as Senators is to weigh what we know, weigh what we hear, weigh what we learn and use our own judgment to determine whether a nominee deserves a promotion to the highest court in the land.

“And based on everything I know about the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh—he should not be confirmed—and he should not be in a position to make decisions on the Supreme Court that impact women, families, and the future of our country.

“That takes me to my second point, M. President—Judge Kavanaugh’s serious credibility issues.

“I went through this in some detail on the floor yesterday, and I won’t go through it all again.  But time and again, in his initial hearing and then even further in his second hearing, Judge Kavanaugh made it clear he has serious issues with the truth.

“He testified under oath—directly to Senators—and made claims that simply defy belief, on issues big and small. Again and again, he made claims that were contradicted—either through emails that were uncovered, or from others who felt compelled to come forward after hearing what he said that simply didn’t align with what they knew to be true.

“M. President, if we can’t trust what he has said to us on those issues—if we know some of what he said is simply false—how can we trust him on so many other issues?

“Surely the least we can expect from someone nominated to serve on our nation’s highest court is a basic commitment to honesty and truth—especially while under oath. That shouldn’t be a partisan issue—it should be common sense.

“And that brings me to the third point I want to make right now.

“Like so many people watching last week’s hearing, I was shocked by Judge Kavanaugh’s raw anger, rage, disrespect, sense of entitlement, and sneering condescension.

“From his apparent bafflement that he even had to respond to credible allegations made against him. To his attempts to throw questions back at the Senators asking them instead of actually answering them. To his open partisanship and bitterness. To his spitting rage and anger—and so much more.

“I cannot imagine any Senator seeing what we saw in that hearing—watching a nominee making a display like that—and thinking this person is fit to serve as an impartial judge on our nation’s highest court.

“I know President Trump loved Judge Kavanaugh’s performance.

“It seemed to inspire him to move from calling Dr. Ford a ‘credible witness’ to openly mocking and attacking her. And it sounds like it has galvanized him to fight even harder for the man whose anger and defensiveness he clearly identifies very closely with. 

“But M. President, I thought it was truly awful. It was not the kind of temperament we should want on the Supreme Court.  And I can only hope enough of my colleagues agree.

“M. President, once again, I believe Dr. Ford. And to me, Judge Kavanaugh has shown so clearly that he does not have the temperament or credibility to serve on the Supreme Court.

“But for any of my colleagues who may not be persuaded yet and have bravely stood up to ask for more information and a thorough investigation, and for all of us who believe the Senate should do its job and get this right, we cannot rush this to a finish.

“A truly thorough investigation must be completed as promised so that Senators hear from all relevant witnesses and gather all relevant information before we cast a vote on this confirmation. This can be done quickly, but it must be done right.

“Because M. President, if this does end up being jammed through as Republican leaders currently intend, it would completely undermine the public’s trust in the credibility of the Supreme Court as information continues to come out from investigations that will continue whether or not he is confirmed. It would eliminate any remaining trust people have in Senate Republican leaders to allow us to fulfill our constitutional advice and consent role and not simply be a rubber stamp for President Trump. And it would cause tremendous anger and backlash across the country from those who are shocked to see the voices of women and survivors ignored like this.

“M. President, I first ran for the Senate after I saw what happened to Anita Hill in 1991.  And based on everything I am seeing and hearing across the country—all of the anger, the energy, and the focus—I am confident that if women and their voices are attacked, undermined, and disrespected once again—we’re going to see a wave of anger, frustration, and activism that makes 1992 look like a ripple.

“We still have time to do this right. We still have time to do better than the Senate did in 1991. We still have time to restore the public’s faith that women are being listened to.

“So I urge my colleagues to join me—vote no tomorrow and end this mad dash to confirmation.

“Thank you, I yield the floor.”