(CNSNews.com) - As the Senate is poised to vote on Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of sexual assault allegations that have been investigated and cleared by the FBI, Senate Republican candidate for Virginia Corey Stewart is calling out members of Congress for failing to release the names of congressmen who are accused of sexual harassment.
During the final debate between him and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Stewart criticized the Democrats’ handling of the allegations against Kavanaugh and called out members of Congress for spending taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims but refusing to release the names of the alleged perpetrators.
“This is beneath the dignity of the United States Senate, and it’s not just the Democrats. It’s the Republicans as well. That needs to end. Dragging America through this horrible spectacle of the United States Senate, and who’s doing it? One hundred in the United States Senate, 435 in the House are just as guilty from my perspective, but here’s what they’re doing. They spent $17 million to quash accusations of sexual harassment against them,” Stewart said.
During the debate, Stewart asked what Kaine has done to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and raising the question of whether Kaine might be on the list of alleged harassers.
In an interview with Fox 5, a DC-based Fox news affiliate, Stewart was asked what he thought about some in the media and other political observers calling it a new low.
“That’s what we get from the Democrats right about now, but they’re accusing me of something that they’re doing right now to Judge Kavanaugh. Here they’ve got these 36-year-old allegations unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, seven FBI investigations, and they’re still not letting this go, and they’re still accusing him of doing something when he was in high school,” Stewart said.
“And that really came out during the debate, and really what we just talked about, which we’ll get into in a minute, stemmed from that whole discussion about Judge Kavanaugh and the hearings right there. How do you take that - those hearings there and then parlay that into your campaign now and the next month?” Fox 5’s Steve Chenevey asked.
Stewart said people are “very upset” about the way Senate Democrats treated Kavanaugh, including Kaine.
“They’re upset that they’ve judged them before the facts came out, and they continue to judge them even after the FBI investigation cleared him, and so this is not just generated interest on the Republican base, but a lot of Democrats are upset about this as well. They think that Judge Kavanaugh’s been treated very unfairly,” he said.
Stewart said he didn’t think that people came into confirmation hearings with their minds already made up no matter what happened.
“I don’t think that’s true. I think that the Republicans, if in fact these allegations were substantiated, if in fact he was this person that the Democrats were trying to make him out to be, I think the Republicans would have said, ‘No, let’s find somebody else,’ but clearly they’re not true. But the other Democrats keep trying to defeat this nominee, tear him apart, tear apart his family. It’s just a national disgrace what’s going on inside this Senate,” he said.
As far as the settlements paid to victims of sexual harassment, Stewart said the $17 million figure came from the congressional Office of Compliance.
“It’s $17 million over the course of 20 or so years, against allegations, allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination against members of Congress, and yet, Senator Kaine and others won’t release the names of the congressmen, who have been accused of sexual harassment and racial discrimination,” he said.
“To which Chairman Kaine responded to you, ‘Then, talk to Chairman McConnell about that, because he’s the one that can release that information.’ Have you had that conversation?” Chenevey asked.
“Here’s the thing - I don’t talk to that guy, Stewart said, referring to McConnell. “Here’s the thing, Senator Kaine has not asked for the information.
“In fact, he said in a letter dated December 7th, 2017 that he would not release the names of the members of the Senate, members of the House who have been groping congressional interns, who have been accused of sexual harassment. They won’t even release the names, and these-- these accusations happened last year, not 36 years ago,” he said.
“But then you responded as well and you threw out three names that you questioned were these people involved in sexual harassment. One of them was the person you’re running against, which was Tim Kaine. What evidence do you have there to make that accusation?” Chenevey asked.
“Well, we don’t have any evidence at this thing, but that’s what they’re doing to Kavanaugh right now, but we do know that members of the Senate, members of the House have been accused of sexual harassment, including last year, at an increasing frequency, and they won’t release the names. If Senator Kaine’s not on the list, why doesn’t he release the information at least to exonerate himself?” Stewart asked.
“I am doing what I think is right, and I’m demanding that the Senate and the House do what they preach,” he said.
“Right now, they’re going after Kavanaugh for allegations from 36 years ago, which the FBI has cleared, but yet, they won’t release the names of United States senators, potentially including Senator Kaine himself who have been guilty of sexual harassment, who have been accused of sexual harassment,” Stewart said.
- fact, these are not unsubstantiated claims. We know that, because they’ve paid out $17 million in settlements to silence the women who have accused members of the Senate of sexual harassment,” he said.