Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) blistered Trump and the GOP for questioning the ex-boyfriends of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accusers in violation of rape shield laws.
Sen. Feinstein said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
The president’s attacks on Dr. Blasey Ford last night were appalling. He sent a clear message to victims of sexual assault that they should not be believed. President Trump’s attacks are even more cruel when you consider that Dr. Ford specifically recalled the pain of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge laughing at her.
Dr. Ford’s life has been turned upside down. She’s been subject to death threats, forced to flee her home and employ private security, portrayed as a Democratic pawn, separated from her children and had her identity stolen. She deserves better.
President Trump is not alone. Senate Republicans have also engaged in a smear campaign, calling Dr. Ford ‘mixed up’ and saying she has a ‘problem.’ Republican attorney Rachel Mitchell penned a nine-page memo seeking to discredit Dr. Ford, a document that has been universally criticized.
Now, in the midst of an FBI investigation, Republicans are interviewing former boyfriends of both Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez in a transparent attempt to discredit them. Rape shield laws and the federal rules of evidence are designed precisely to stop this sort of attack. The Judiciary Committee in 1994 expressly prohibited these abuses in the Violence Against Women Act.
The terrible treatment of Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez tells every woman in this country to keep sexual assault to themselves. We must send a different message, a message of support.
Republicans Are Violating Rape Shield Laws
Rape shield laws are intended to protect victims from having their past sexual history used against them, but that is exactly what Trump and Republicans are trying to do. They are attempting to discredit the Kavanaugh accusers by digging into their life histories, which is against the law.
The investigation is not about the accusers. The FBI investigation is about the character, credibility, honesty, and past behavior of Brett Kavanaugh. Sen. Feinstein is correct. The Republicans are trying to send the message to women that they are to remain quiet about the crimes committed against them, which is why every decent citizen of this country must stand up and support accusers and people who bravely tell their stories.
Republicans are using the Kavanaugh confirmation fight to silence survivors. They are breaking the law and must be held accountable both at the ballot box and by society at large.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association