At the opening of the hearing about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Chuck Grassley said that “both” the judge’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the judge himself have had “a terrible couple of weeks.”
The comments from Grassley, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sparked outrage from some on Twitter.
They complained that the senator was drawing a comparison between an alleged victim of sexual assault and her alleged assaulter.
Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump on July 9 after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh is expected to push the high court further to the right with his life-time appointment.
Earlier this month, Ford came forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, according to The Washington Post. She says while they were both in high school in 1982, Kavanaugh groped her and tried to rip off her clothes as he pinned her down on a bed.
Since Ford’s accusations, at least two other women have come forward with similar accusations. Julie Swetnick said in a document released by lawyer Michael Avenatti that she was at multiple parties with Kavanaugh where “disoriented” girls were drugged and then raped by a “train” of men, while Deborah Ramirez said in an interview with The New Yorker that the judge exposed his genitals at a party. The accusations are from incidents that were said to have happened in the 1980s.
The judge has denied the claims, saying in a Fox News interview that he has always respected women and was a virgin at the time of the accusations.