President Donald Trump Defends Justice Kavanaugh: He Was “Proven Innocent”

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.”

President Donald Trump with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, speaks before a ceremonial swearing-in in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Susan Walsh/AP

On Monday night, two days after a sharply divided Senate narrowly confirmed Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court despite a series of allegations of sexual misconduct, President Donald Trump defended the controversial new justice in his own White House swearing-in ceremony.

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump said.

Kavanaugh’s elevation to the nation’s highest court came two weeks after California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

“Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception,” Trump said. “What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process.”

Trump added that Kavanaugh, “under historic scrutiny,” was “proven innocent,” even though he faced no trial. Instead, a hasty FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations was conducted without interviews from Ford or Kavanaugh, leading Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other Democrats to question its credibility.

Kavanaugh was already officially sworn in after Saturday’s vote by Chief Justice John Roberts and retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat Kavanaugh is filling. Nevertheless, at the White House on Monday night, Kavanaugh, who called the Supreme Court an “institution of the law” not a “partisan or political institution,” reiterated that he was the first justice ever to have hired only female clerks.