Sen. Hirono: Investigate Rep. Keith Ellison

By Susan Jones | September 24, 2018 | 7:16am EDT
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) was asked on Sunday if Democrats should be concerned about the abuse allegations made against one of their own -- Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is now running for Minnesota Attorney General.

Ellison's former girlfriend Karen Monahan has accused him of domestic abuse. Monahan said she has even released records from her therapist, to whom she explained her alleged suffering.

Hirono, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sided with Christine Blasey Ford, saying she believes Ford's allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, whom Hirono said she considers less than credible.

CNN's Jake Tapper, host of CNN's "State of the Union," asked Hirono on Sunday: "Wouldn't the concern about Kavanaugh and Professor Ford be more credible if Democrats were also condemning similar charges against Democrats in their midst, including Congressman Ellison?"


"I have been very clear that I make no excuses for anybody who engages in this kind of behavior," Hirono responded. "And, as far as Keith Ellison, these allegations need to be investigated, and appropriate action taken.

"Meanwhile, we have -- within the next week or so, we have before us a nominee that is under a cloud. There's not even a modicum of investigation. And so we are left with basically he said/she said. This happens a lot in the context of sexual assault. We know this."

Hirono is calling for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh's background.

"I would be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school. Apparently, there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. This is why we need an investigation. We need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us, so that there's at least some chance of some outside entity like the FBI doing an investigation.

This is totally untoward, because, remember, during the Anita Hill days, there was an investigation, perfunctory as that was. But Dr. Ford is not even afforded that.

“Meanwhile, she's coming forward and very bravely saying, I will tell my story. So I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that she can tell her story free of intimidation, fear and the kind of threats that she's already getting for even coming forward with it."

Hirono bristled at a Wall Street Journal editorial that said Hirono assumes Ford is telling the truth because she's a woman -- and "the burden is on Mr. Kavanaugh to prove his innocence."

"For the Wall Street Journal to come out and talk to us about, talk to me about due process, or all the women out there that I'm hearing about who never came forward, it is really important, not only for these survivors to be heard, but if their stories are credible, as Dr. Ford's story is, they need to be believed."

Tapper asked Hirono about a potential impeachment of Kavanaugh.

"I know that Maryland has eliminated the statute of limitations for kidnapping and for sexual assault of a minor. And I think that is still out there," Hirono said. "And so there may be an investigation along those lines. So, I think that this is a situation that is not going to go away."

In the next breath, Hirono talked about President Trump's "court packing."

"The court-packing is going on big time, with people from the Federalist Society anointed, The Heritage Foundation.

"And they have spent decades and millions of dollars to lay the groundwork for people like Judge Kavanaugh and everybody else to get on the court with their very outcome-driven agenda that will not support women's right to choose, that, basically, for Judge Kavanaugh in particular, very expansive views of protecting a sitting president from either criminal or civil proceedings.

"And I think this president in particular is aware of that, because you know what? His mission is self-preservation every second, minute, hour of the day."

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