Sen. Susan Collins: 'I Think That Judge Kavanaugh Drank Too Much in High School,' But...

By Susan Jones | October 8, 2018 | 5:34 AM EDT

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) (Photo: Screen capture/CBS)

( – As she promised in a remarkable speech on Friday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Saturday voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, following what she called a "thorough" FBI investigation.

Collins told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that she believes something happened to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford; and she believes that Kavanaugh "drank too much in high school," but she doesn't connect those two dots.


"There were a lot of rumors that only the four people that Dr. Ford mentioned in her testimony would be interviewed. That was not the case. I read 12 different interviews on Thursday," Collins said. (She explained that one person, whom she would not name, was interviewed twice.)

"I am convinced that Dr. Ford believes what she told us, and that she was a victim, a survivor of sexual assault, and that that has been a trauma that has stayed with her for her entire life," Collins said.

"But we have a presumption of innocence in this country. And when I looked at the lack of any corroborating evidence, including no evidence from her very best friend who was present at the party, I could not conclude that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant."

Collins noted that the witnesses named by Dr. Ford said they had no recollection of the events she described, and no eyewitness came forward after Ford’s allegations went public.

Asked about possible "discrepancies" in Kavanaugh's testimony about the extent of his drinking, Collins said, "I think that Judge Kavanaugh drank too much in high school. But the background investigations that the FBI conducts always have a question of, did you drink -- did the nominee drink to excess or use drugs? That is a standard question that's asked each and every time.

“And 150 people were interviewed for those (previous six) background investigations. And none of them brought forth evidence to support that."

Collins said she felt Kavanaugh's testimony about his drinking was truthful:

"The question that he was asked was -- I mean, it's clear he drank in high school. And the question that was the important question was, was he a blackout drunk? And he said that that was not the case. And the testimony that we had in the interviews did not support that contention."

On the question of "demeanor" -- Kavanaugh's sharp retorts to some of the senators questioning him -- Collins aid his "anger and anguish" were understandable, although she did think he "went over the line" at times.

However, Collins said she considered his history on that point as well:

"When he was first nominated, it was in 2004. His nomination was delayed for two years by the Democrats. He had very hostile hearings in 2004 and 2006, when he was finally confirmed for the court. And yet that did not affect his performance as a judge for 12 years on the D.C. Circuit.

"In addition, 500 people were interviewed about his temperament and did he treat all litigants with respect. And to a person, they said he did."

As she said in her floor speech last Friday, Collins expressed concern about the Supreme Court making too many 5-4 decisions.

"I don't like the idea that there's a liberal bloc, a conservative bloc. I want judges that apply the law and the Constitution to the facts of the case. So I have confidence, having reviewed in depth Judge Kavanaugh's 12 years on the circuit court, that he will do that."

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