Anita Hill Didn't Remember How She Got Home, Either

By Susan Jones | September 19, 2018 | 9:28am EDT
Anita Hill testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1991. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford -- the only two women to bring sexual accusations against nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court -- have certain memory lapses in common. And for what it's worth, they both hold degrees in psychology.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually attacking her in a bedroom at a party some 36 years ago, when both were in high school.

Yet Ford told the Washington Post she doesn't remember how the gathering came together; at whose home the party took place or exactly when it happened; how she got there; or how she got home after she fled from the house.

(Kavanaugh says it "never happened," and he plans to "refute this false allegation" before the committee on Monday. Ford  has been invited to testify but has not agreed to show up.)

Anita Hill told her story of alleged sexual harassment to Congress ten years after it allegedly happened.

Like Ford, Hill came forward with her bombshell just as the confirmation vote neared; she wanted confidentiality; the story was leaked; and she was not happy about being called to testify in public.

After recounting the salacious things that Clarence Thomas supposedly said to her when they worked together, Anita Hill told the Senate Judiciary Committee that on her last day at the EEOC, which Thomas then headed, she agreed to go out to dinner with a man who -- as she testified -- had previously pestered her for dates and humiliated her with his references to pornography and sex.

Questioned about that one-on-one dinner with her alleged tormenter, Hill could not remember the restaurant where the dinner took place; what type of food was served at the restaurant; whether she had a drink; or how either one of them got home.

"I took the subway home, if I recall correctly," Hill said in response to a question. "As I am recalling -- I'm not sure how I got home."


But Hill told the Judiciary Committee she did "vividly remember" Thomas saying at the dinner "that if I ever told anyone of his behavior that it would ruin his career." Hill said she did not remember exactly when during the meal Thomas made the comment: "I believe it was about -- it was well into the meal, maybe mid-way, half-way or beyond," she testified.

(Clarence Thomas told the committee, "I have no recollection of having dinner with her as she left, although I do not think that it would be unusual for me to have gone either to lunch or to particularly an early dinner with a member of my staff who was leaving." Thomas "categorically" denied ever saying what Hill "vividly" remembered him saying. He emphatically denied all of her accusations, in fact.)

Hill's testimony about the dinner and Sen. Patrick Leahy's questions about it can be found at this link. (Search "restaurant")

Hill says she never wanted to testify

Like Judge Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Ford, Anita Hill said she came forward behind the scenes, never expecting to make her accusations public. In both cases, the old, unprovable allegations were leaked, besmirching the reputations of two conservative men whom liberals are/were desperate to keep off the Supreme Court.

The late Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) asked Hill about a report in USA Today that said: "Anita Hill was told by Senate staffers her signed affidavit alleging sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas would be the instrument that 'quietly and behind the scenes' would force him to withdraw his name." Specter said the quotation was attributed to Keith Henderson, a 10-year friend of Hill and former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer.

"Was USA Today correct on that?" Specter asked Hill.

"I do not recall," Hill said. "I guess -- did I say that? I don't understand who said what in that quotation."

Specter repeated it: "Keith Henderson, a 10-year friend of Hill and former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, says Hill was advised by Senate staffers that her charge would be kept secret and her name kept from public scrutiny."

Specter asked Hill, "Did anybody ever tell you that, by providing the statement, that there would be a move to request Judge Thomas to withdraw his nomination?"

"I don't recall any story about pressing, using this to press anyone," Hill said.

"Well, do you recall anything at all about anything related to that?" Specter asked.

"I think that I was told that my statement would be shown to Judge Thomas, and I agreed to that," Hill replied.

"But was there any suggestion, however slight, that the statement with these serious charges would result in a withdrawal so that it wouldn't have to be necessary for your identity to be known or for you to come forward under circumstances like these?" Specter asked.

"There was -- no, not that I recall. I don't recall anything being said about him being pressed to resign," Hill said. "The only thing that I can think of, and if you will check, there were a lot of phone conversations. We were discussing this matter very carefully, and at some point there might have been a conversation about what might happen."

Hill told the committee that she never wanted to testify.

Then-Committee Chairman Joe Biden asked Hill about the events that brought her into the witness chair: "What ultimately made you decide that you must go public, knowing that all this would occur?" Biden asked.

Hill said someone leaked her affidavit, verbatim, to a newspaper reporter.

"So, in your view, you are here as a result of some unexpected events?" Biden asked.

"Yes, definitely," Hill said.

"Do you consider yourself part of some organized effort to determine whether or not Clarence Thomas should or should not sit on the bench?" Biden asked her.

"No, I had no intention of being here today, none at all. I did not think that this would ever-- I had not even imagined that this would occur."

Hill said that testifying was exactly what she hoped to avoid. "I was meticulous, I was making every effort to make sure that this public thing did not happen. I did not talk to the press. I was called by the press on July 1. I did not talk to the press. This is exactly what I did not want."

Hill said she thought she could "control it so that it would not get to this point, but I was mistaken."

According to the Washington Post, Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Ford did contact the press. She contacted the Post in early July when she learned that Kavanaugh was on the shortlist to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. She declined to speak on the record, the Post reported this past Sunday:

"A registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations, she contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, around the same time. In late July, she sent a letter via Eshoo’s office to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee," the article said. "In the letter, which was read to The Post, Ford described the incident and said she expected her story to be kept confidential."

Despite her expectation of confidentiality (calling a newspaper tipline?), Ford in recent months has wiped her social media accounts; engaged a lawyer; and taken a polygraph test, apparently just in case she decided to go public. Indeed, her story leaked just as Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing ended, and now Ford is backing up the Democrats' demand for a delay in Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Ford's attorneys say she will insist on a full FBI investigation before accepting the Judiciary Committee's invitation to tell her story -- in public or privately -- on Monday. (For the record, Anita Hill backed up the call for a full investigation and delay in the Kavanaugh confirmation vote in television interviews on Wednesday morning.)

Meanwhile, liberal media outlets are full of the "lose-lose" scenario for committee Republicans -- all white men -- faced with an alleged sexual assault victim in the "#MeToo" era, just weeks before the midterm election. And Judge Kavanaugh, even if he is confirmed, will have an asterisk attached to his good name, just as Clarence Thomas has, in what could be nothing more than a replay of an old, dirty trick.

As President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday: "The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President. I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching, and studying, the Democrats Playbook."

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