GOP senator: The Trump impeachment inquiry is like the “Kavanaugh hearing without the vagina hats"

Kennedy falsely calmed that "this will be the only partisan impeachment proceeding in the history of the" U.S.

By Igor Derysh
Published November 19, 2019 5:23PM (EST)
Brett Kavanaugh; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)
Brett Kavanaugh; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., compared the ongoing House impeachment hearings to the combative confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“You know what these proceedings look to me like right now? They look like the Kavanaugh hearing without the vagina hats,” Kennedy told a Bloomberg reporter Tuesday. “This is going to be the most partisan — no, strike that — this will be the only partisan impeachment proceeding in the history of the United States.”

Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, claimed that the House proceedings are a “gross violation of due process,” even though House Democrats have implemented nearly identical rules to the impeachment proceedings against Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

“All Speaker Pelosi and her team are doing is weaponizing impeachment as a political weapon,” the senator further claimed. “When we get it in the Senate, we’ll do it right.”

Kennedy’s comment suggests that he expects the president will be impeached, leading to a trial in the Senate.

Others found similarities between the impeachment hearings and the Kavanaugh hearings, although for wildly different reasons.

Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah and journalist Karen Schwartz likened President Donald Trump’s smearing of former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to the smears leveled against Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Yovanovitch testified during Friday's impeachment heating that “the color drained from my face” after she was attacked by the president, whose words she said sounded “like a threat.”

“Those watching the hearing could not help but be struck by the imbalances of power at play,” Rocah and Schwartz wrote in an op-ed at NBC News. "It’s a power dynamic that we’ve seen before however, notably during the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford."

“Indeed, the night before Yovanovitch’s testimony, Ford’s testimony had been broadcast on a large screen just a few blocks from the Capitol, outside the hall where Kavanaugh gave is his first major public speech since ascending to the court,” they continued. “Many Americans felt wounded as we watched and felt Ford’s strength and composure in the face of irrational white male anger and resentment. It is a wound that, apparently, is still very raw. Ford seemed to symbolize women everywhere who had been assaulted as she recounted, yet again, her assault. In the same way, Yovanovitch seems to symbolize any woman who’s ever had a man try to undermine her, demote her or push her out.”

The op-ed argued that the smears were a “mistake.”

“Because women, it turns out, take this quite personally. They get inspired and wear pink hats and take to the streets,” they added. “They go out and vote in record numbers in wave elections. They may even topple presidencies.”

Blasey Ford received the American Civil Liberties Union’s Rodger Baldwin Courage Award on Sunday and cited Yovanovitch in her acceptance speech.

"It's not just survivors that we have to stand up for. It's all of those who come forward to support our country," she said. "Ambassador Yovanovitch — all of the men and women who bravely come forward, they come forward, to tell the truth, and to help our country. They might also be vilified and they need to hear our voices of support also."

Blasey Ford spoke about her own experience and the attacks she faced after coming forward to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Kennedy sits. (Kennedy said after Blasey Ford's testimony that he was "pleased" that Kavanaugh would still be confirmed but complained that "he won't feel like a winner.")

“I was prepared for a variety of outcomes, including being dismissed. I was not prepared for the venom, the persistent attacks, the vilification, the loss of personal privacy, and the collateral damage to my friends and my family,” Blasey Ford said in her speech. “I have learned a lot over the past year. I have learned that there is a well-financed attack machine out there ready to flood the Internet and the media, anytime I raise my head. And I know it's not going to go away."

Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

Tips/Email: Twitter: @IgorDerysh

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