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Today’s Hearing: Trial or Job Interview?


The Senate Judiciary Committee opens its hearing into allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh today. At stake for both parties is the swing seat on an ideologically divided Supreme Court in the thick of an election battle for control of Congress. Here’s a preview of each side’s plan for the hearing. Guests: Peter Baker, who covers the White House for The New York Times, and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who covers Congress. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From the New York Times, unlike over about this yesterday, the today, as this Then, a Judiciary committee opens its here. Into allegations against judge bread. Cabin at stake for both parties, is the swing seat on an idea, large, We divided Supreme Court in the thick of a mid term election battle over who will control Congress, for the final two years of president trumps top so what's the plan each side, its first September, twice a peer bigger how or Republicans on the Judiciary Committee approaching today's here why
our proposal, the committee are looking at this, basically through the eyes of a criminal type procedure. They trying to basically make this an argument about fairness and due process rather than an argument about. Why, camera might or might not have done. In other words, they believe. There should be a presumption of innocence due process. The way there would be any by brought to court on a colonel charge that, unless you can prove these allegations against judge not he ought to be afforded the presumption that he's not guilty that he didn't do these things to their thinking of it as a trial yeah with time. Say, as this is a character assassination smear campaign, that's not backed up by enough evidence. No prosecutor would bring thirty six year old allegations like this trial, witnesses who were there at the time or other evidence that would corroborate and a powerful way and so they're trying to say that we shouldn't presume that Judge Cabinet did they simply because there is a way, saying at or even a credible witnessed, she may get up she may be very persuasive and their arguments going to be as persuasiveness years.
We want to give him the benefit of the doubt, because she can't prove it as if she were proving it in a criminal trial is a real test of credibility. Does the judge seem more believable to people who watched the two of them back to back or does his accuser, Doktor, Christine Blasi Ford seem more believable and MRS Redondo FBI, investigation or any other kind of witnesses appearing at the hearing, a really I'm down to these two people, so To get around that the republic is in effect, are saying: let's do the benefit of the doubt, in effect to the accused american, valuing the presumption of innocence and the presumption of innocence. Of course, that's up Munich value in criminal cases, not confirmation specific, but this thing was imply that standard here in order to be fair, not fair, this man, who spent a whole career studying and working in government and in politics, and on the bench and certain core for twelve years. To get to this point not fair, the real his career,
his whole life? If you cannot crew, these charges are, in fact real. In other words, is it he said she said, but that is an uncomfortable idea with Anita Hill and our past in this car moment, but it's less uncomfortable. If you we frame, he said she said as innocent until proven guilty. I think that's right because in fact, in some ways the burden in society generally has shifted last year, because was back in the Unita Helen Class Thomas days back then. In effect, it was up to anything According to a lot of people to prove the Clarence Thomas had done the thing she said she did. This day and age with me to movement with so many terrible cases coming why there is a national presumption. These days to say, we need to believe these accusers me to give them in fact the benefit of understanding and not question them because they ve come and for their courageous incoming Lord, and we need to make it possible for real victims to come and tell their stories. That presumption in effect, therefore worked against. Just carbonized,
the Republicans in stressing the idea of a criminal type standard, a presumption of innocence, and you know Innocent until proven guilty kind of approach are trying to shift that burden back to the accuser, so Peter, whose actually on trial. Here then in Republicans, mines said Cavanaugh whose on trial or is it doctor glossy for well away. Almost everybody is on trial here. In this experience, obviously, you have judged Cavanaugh facing he's a very, very serious allegations allegations that would be a crime if brought in a court of LAW you have Doktor Basi Ford, whose credibility will be put on trial to some extent and in fact, the Republicans have even hired a prosecutor to do the questioning for them so that they do not look like they are beating up on a victim of sexual saw the way I need it, in nineteen ninety one, but even the senators I think in some ways are on trial they're on trial, because that one thousand nine hundred and ninety one experienced in the court of public opinion we're right in the thick of a midterm election
I'm paying how they handle this. How they approached this hearing could go a long way towards influencing the way voters think about centres, both parties and wire publicans, choosing to use a prosecutor, as I get the part where that reinforces the idea that this is a trial that seems pretty straightforward but beyond the appearance of it feeling like a trial. What's the purpose, a butane outside prosecutor. Well this case they ve hired a prosecuting Rachel Mitchell who works in Arizona as a sex crimes prosecutor as investigator, or authorities there she's work on a number of key. His involving catholic church, sex of use, allegations and her experience is bringing sex abusers sex predators to justice, in this case, obviously he's working for the side on the hearing, I want to believe these allegations are true that once an impact to believe that they're, not true so they're using somebody who is as expressed get improving decisive allegations to an effect under cut
in this instance, who would know better, then somebody who's, professional career has been spent, proving sex crimes if she were to come out of the saying, basically that these are not proven that chile fastening so their birth in a prosecutor who they'll say if anyone can prove this. It's her. And their banking on, the idea that it cannot be proven right that would seem anyway to give the argument to the public that this is a more credible conclusion, because she's not incline to lead such predators off the hook. Somebody mayor life, bring them in jail right I guess the question we may not know the answer to but extremely curious about is. Did she say, for instance, I'm gonna do my job and my job is to get to the bottom of this, and if the outcome of that is that doctor body for looks good and judge, Cavanaugh looks bad. I'm doing my job. Yes, a great question for you? No one will see a little bit better later today when we watched ass. You know how to she approached this. Does she approach it as an advocate would cheaper it as a neutral fact, finer, gotta, professional, who
Its role is not a hundred percent defined, yet she does work the Republican not the Democrats, so you sort of presume that he's, taking the lead on the consequences that they would like to ask, but will have to see so for this tragedy. Work for Republicans, what's Cavanaugh pardon. It cabinet has a very tough challenge when Class Thomas went before this, committee way back and ninety ninety one, he expressed anger, at the way he had been treated. He said this is a high tech, lynching, but that's not considered to be viable strategy anymore. So his goal is to appear persuasive. Maybe even indignant, but not angry and not accusatory toward Christine Blasi Ford, and we saw sort of dress the first on Monday night on Fox NEWS when he went on a gave, an interview. I am looking for a fair process, a process where I can defend my integrity. Clear my name, you could tell he had a few lines. He was sticking where he was rehearsed again just ass
for a fair process you want to do here, come back to the same phrases that he thought work the best he wanted to get across again again, just asking for a fair process where the fair process said seventeen times. He said I've always treat women with dignity and respect the always supports the dignity of women. He said what I know is I've always treated women. The dignity and respect for times, I've never sexually assaulted. Anyone he's never you saw that anyone he said not school, not ever sexual assault as I've never sexually assaulted. Anyone in high school in high school our six times when are you going to year because it came across as repetitive in an ethic. That's something there a little worried about in this hearing his advisers at present Rob wants him to be a little bit more forceful in his denial. You to show they think our indignation, if you were a falsely, accused you would be upset about it. So there's a real fine line between indignation and
anger that might look accusing of the victim plain to say in his opening statement that he doesn't question, do something I happened to Doktor Christine Basi Ford and he doesn't quest her credibility, he simply say it wasn't him and That's the fine line he's trying to work here they Peter as someone who watches a lot of congressional hearings and sometimes kind of losing track of what the point of them is there, something on really brilliant about framing this as a trial because trials, of course, were trained to think this way are the kind of easy and familiar to follow. We know the point of it And, rather than an open exploration of decades old allegations, without clear what happens at the end. You supposed to make a decision based on a feeling I got instinct. A trial gives a very clear framework to this thing. Have we proven
that he did. This law is right exactly and is a country that has been raised on law and order. Television, says re, so consider this the law and order Capitol Hill addition will, at least is the republic is like the framework, and we, how that works prosper gets up here. She tries to presenting beyond reasonable doubt. If we have even a shred of uncertainty, then your advocated by the system to the fall in the benefit of the accused basket. Standard that their problems relate to set here, but whether their able to actually convince others of that stand or not, as the open question are people going to buy the idea that this should be conducted like a trial, here. Thank you very much. Thank you and I talked to him What right back in response to covered ninety
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and show? How will a job? In our view, style format? For this hearing? Be different from a trial setting also in a trial that setting you have a standard of Peru phrase. My much Mcconnell said the other day that cabin is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Other Republicans had said that, just because Christine Bobby Ford has made these allegations, if they wouldn't stand up in a court of law there not enough to keep judge cabinet off the bench, but Democrats view it entirely differently. They don't think that this needs to be a situation of beyond reasonable doubt. They just want to know what is his character. Is he truthful.
Is he. The kind of person is deserving of this job, which, after all, is a privilege, not a right, and why do Democrats want to avoid that trial like question that burden of proof, because the fear of framing this is a trial, there really is no way that judge carbon market emerge. The loser is going to be probably impossible. Fur Christine lousy forward to prove that what she says happened, method, and there are no other witnesses that this hearing tomorrow, others who were set
to be in the house at the time have said they dont remember this, so it become a kind of a he said he said, and if it then he said she said in a legal sense, then Judge Cavanaugh gets acquitted right for Democrats per hour. He said she said in which there isn't the technical legal burden of branding anything right. It's not that big it or acquitted it's just. They want to look at how he answers a variety of question whether or not he committed this singular act and what do you anticipate this? Looking like this job area, I anticipate Democrats trying to pull called
dutch cabinet truthfulness by bringing up account but have come forward in recent days, for instance, Judge Cavanaugh has said on Fox NEWS that he was right. High school boy. He didn't community service projects me play sports and study them that really bookmark comport with, her mother accounts, notably that of his Yale freshmen roommate, who said that judge cabin was normally reserved, but that he was,
notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of that time, and that he became belligerent an aggressive when he was very drunk. Democrats are likely to bring in Judge Kalganov Highschool yearbook, where he talks about himself as being treasurer of the TED Club and also he lifted himself. As a member of the renewed alumni club, Bernay was the woman who apparently was being made fun of by boys and dutch Cabinet high school, who were supposedly boasting of their actual conquest. When she found out about this through a New York Times, story was very humiliating for, and it is certainly
speak to the kind of character that you would want in somebody who's sitting on the Supreme Court and in this model Cavanaugh is the one of course is applying for the job. So I imagine democratic sellers will focus mostly on I am rather than his accuser, doktor body forward right. Well, they will question Christine body for it and she will in fact testify hurry, but I would expect them to be very gentle with her and very respectful bail out of her to tell her story. We know that she said it Lee up with her was a defining moment in her young life. She sought therapy over. It wasn't able to have comfortable relationships with men for four or five years after the really had a lasting imprint on her life. Uninsured Democrats will draw her out on that as well,
and how does gently allowing her to tell her story fit into this strategy of Democrats to carve disqualify him in the job? well. She needs to be seen as a credible. She needs to be Somebody who is not motivated by desire to deny bread cabin on the seat on the brain or rather a citizen who we felt, we had a story I felt it was his duty to inform senators about what she knew and was coming forward. For that reason, and I would also expect Michael that we will hear questions from Democrats about why she came forward. What was the process? Did she want to remain confidential? Why is that important, because she's a more powerful witness if people understand that
never wanted to go public. In the first place. She was kind of force to win. Details of her letter started, leaking out and her identity leaked out, and she heard things that were being said about her. The cheaper or inaccurate orders were shut up on her door, and so she felt compelled a point, go public, but it was never hurt. Then do we know how to everybody. Ford is preparing for this hearing today and for her part in this job interview in a word now that were being made public in any I would know, but our lawyers are keeping such a tight hold. We don't know where he is preparing. We don't know where he's staying. I've tried to find out what is she wearing middle or even any small detail, and we are getting radio silence on that. We just don't know
and what about the prosecutor of the outside lawyer that Republicans have hired and plan to ask tat question both Ford and Cavanaugh on their behalf. How can we expect the Democrats to interact with her? You know my expectation. Is the Democrats really will interact with her at all? I dont know if still try to contradict her or try to jump then, as they might in an ordinary situation. Worse
One of the republican colleagues was speaking up. I think that will be interesting to say so in a very real way. This concept of a trial and job in our view, will unfold simultaneously, but not really overlap other than that they are occurring in the same room and they are directed at the same two people Cavanaugh and forward the train, and let me feel really strange well, it may feel really strange because it is really strange. This is not how things are done in the Senate. You know, first of all, the measures like that though the notion that Republicans would leave their time to a prosecutor to a third party. We unusual, and we don't really know how gonna play out through
I will make for a successful version of this job interview for Democrats at the end of tomorrow. If we also gets clear what a successful version of this will be for Republicans, they will simply have did not prove that judge cabinet did anything to doktor body, for what is success? Look like for the Democrats, given the structure that they are pursuing opened the democratic first successes. Just raising a knock down without judges have, I think, his nomination budget plant, the thieves and seminars mine, You know what I'm not sure about the guy, maybe there's a better guy for the job, and that bar was seen to be a lot lower in a job. In our view, as we discussed then in a trial that bar is about power and a job interview, absolutely
okay, so shall we know that democratic Republicans have two very different strategies going into this hearing today. If this is a trial, as you probably think it is, who is the jury, and if this is a job in our view, as Democrats think it is who ultimately makes the higher who the audience pure. Well, it's the same jury or the same group. That's making the higher it's very, very small, really it's about for so amateur all Republican Jeff, wake up, Arizona, Susan columns of main lesson Rakowski Alaska, and maybe the inhaler of Nevada who are either undecided or who simply haven't said what their decision and. In the end, that's really who both Democrats and Republicans are putting their strategy towards the big question.
We'll both senators see that a legal proceedings or do they view it as a job interview What happens if they view it as a job interview and what happens if everyone is a trial if they viewed at the trial, it's gonna be really hard for these allegations to carry great weight in their decision, making the influence that vision, because it's impossible approve them.
How about the baby order, the trial he gets confirmed, but if they view it as a job interview them. This all goes into the mix of what kind of character he has and whether or not he is deserving and do they have any doubt about that. Is there something nagging at them that worry that makes them feel like you know what I don't feel quite comfortable, giving the sky high powered job and in the end, maybe those centres will vote. No, then, will be looking at the news court nominee before long cereals. Thank you very much. Thanks, Michael the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin. Its questioning of doktor Glossy and Judge Cavanaugh at ten o clock this morning.
Yours. What else you need another day on Wednesday, a third woman accused judge, Cavanaugh of Sexual, must conduct during high school. In the nineteen, the woman, These weapons said she saw Cavanaugh at parties where one, or virtually abused inappropriately touched and at Times gang rape. And had Cavanaugh himself participated, some of the misconduct acclaim Cavanaugh flat tonight, we were a great three days at the United Nations in New York few hours later during a news Conner at the United Nations President Tromp was how the many accusations of sexual misconduct against himself have influenced view of those against Judge Cabinet, while it does impact my belgian, you know why, because I've had a lot of false charges made against me, I'm a very famous person. Unfortunately,
I've been a famous person for a long time? What I've got? False charges made against may really false charges. Friends of have force charges, people one fame. They want money, they one whatever So when I, under questioning from reports Trump continued to curiously defend cabinet but said he was open to with drawing the nomination depend. Hang on what happens at today's hearing, it sounds that what you're saying There is a situation. There is a scenario under which you would withdraw Brett cabinets nomination, Is that correct? I thought he was about this. I thought he was guilty of something like this and you will wait until tomorrow to make up you. I want to watch. I want to see. I hope I can watch a movie later on Wednesday night Another accuser emerged clean in an anonymous letter to a republican senator that Cavanaugh drunkenly and aggressively pushed a woman. He was dating against a wall after
had left a bar in the ninety nineties. Cavanaugh denies the a nation that is for the deal. I Michael Bauble suitable sound on spent more than a decking building con Academy, the free remote learning platform. Now, all of a sudden, seems custom made for today we realise is one of those moments where you look left. Look right. You're, like I think this is us. I'm unleash a bird hosting pad cast that made all the differ. I'll be talking to some incredible people like south about their managing the crisis, while helping others through it find that made all the difference. Where you get your podcast created by Bank of America
Transcript generated on 2020-06-29.