I was on Michael Smerconish’s show on CNN to discuss the Kavanaugh hearings:
SMERCONISH: Do you worry that you’ll win the battle but lose the war? In other words, okay, he gets confirmed but now you so incensed Democratic opposition that it will cause a big blue wave in the November midterms.
TROTTER: No, definitely not. When you look back at the 2016 presidential election, exit polls showed that one out of five voters said that the primary reason they voted in the presidential election was because of the Supreme Court and the president’s power to nominate for vacancies. Of those who were polled, 58% of those voted for President Donald Trump. This should be fixed to the idea that presidents lose in the midterms after they’ve been elected in the first term. I think if you are specifically relating to the hearings, we did polling on Thursday night that showed that support for Judge Kavanagh was up after the hearing and so Joe Manchin is going to have to decide whether he wants to go with the far-left partisans in his own party or if he wants to respect the wishes of his voters and I think that will have ramifications across the country, not just for Senator Manchin.
SMERCONISH: Can you and I agree that Joe Manchin and every other Senator ought to be withholding judgment until we see what’s the end result of the FBI probe?
TROTTER: The result of the FBI probe is that the Democrats want delay, delay, delay and there’s a complete misunderstanding of the FBI’s role. Advice-and-consent is a constitutional duty of the legislative branch. It’s not for the FBI to do a criminal investigation in this case. The Senate Judiciary Committee has more staff that are assigned to these types of allegations and any statements that are given to the Senate Judiciary Committee, like all of the witnesses Dr. Ford mentioned who said that this party did not happen, they have no recollection of it, they are under the same obligation of perjury lost with those statements then if they sent them to the FBI.
SMERCONISH: Respectfully, I think your bias is showing because you’re telling me essentially you will not accept the outcome of the FBI probe. Believe me I know the rules, I know they don’t come to a finding…
SMERCONISH: But if in fact they show something that corroborates Dr. Ford’s account, if there’s some finding that is problematic for Judge Kavanaugh, will you be unaccepting of that?
TROTTER: I base my opinion and so does our organization on the facts. It’s less about the credibility of Dr. Ford….
SMERCONISH: How do you know what the facts are?
TROTTER: We have had so many sworn statements by the very people who Dr. Ford mentioned as corroborating witnesses, including her friend Leland Keyser. All of them say that they have no recollection of this. Dr. Ford doesn’t know where it happened, Dr. Ford doesn’t know when it happened, so any fair-minded independent person can look at the facts and evidence in this case and understand that it does not substantiate Dr. Ford’s claims. So we can have an FBI probe if that makes Senator Flake more comfortable, if that makes Senator Manchin more comfortable, then that’s great that is where we are now. But I believe there is not going to be more evidence revealed through this FBI investigation.
SMERCONISH: And there might not be. In my commentary at the outset, I said I don’t anticipate that it gets brought to a clear conclusion, much as I would like that to be the case, but I’m sitting here with an open mind because if there’s something out there that’s unaware to either of us we ought to be willing to accept it. One final thought that I want you to respond to. Dr. Ford’s claim is that there were three people in that room. How in the world can the senate make a judgment, shame on those who weighed in already, without knowing in full what Judge has to say because he was the third person present. I know before you tell me about what he gave to a lawyer I’m not relying on some two-paragraph meaningless statement, let’s hear what he’s got to say when you agree you want to know?
TROTTER: Dr. Ford gave many contradictory accounts about how many people were there. We will never know, it was 35 years ago….
SMERCONISH: In the room there, wait a minute, in the room there were two men present.
TROTTER: This cannot be underscored enough. Both of those men deny that that happened. Judge Kavanagh said a hundred percent certainty, a hundred percent certainty. You have to hold that in light of his entire record. There are hundreds of women who have went on the record, publicized their names even in this hostile environment of threats, who said that this is completely against Judge Kavanaugh’s character. Women who knew him from high school, college, when he worked in the Bush Administration, when he’s been a judge advocating for the empowerment of women for 12 years on what essentially is the second highest court of the land…..
SMERCONISH: I got it I got it I got it I understand. I’m making a very specific point. Mr. Judge may or may not have witnessed a sexual assault I think he needs to be questioned extensively. I’m not about to accept, in a courtroom we would never take some lawyers two-paragraph denial of it. Let’s meet the man. Let’s find out what he’s got to say
TROTTER: He agreed to cooperate but it’s so funny that sometimes this is treated like a legal process and sometimes it’s not. So if you want to treat it like a legal process, give Judge Kavanaugh the presumption of innocence and not the presumption of guilt.
SMERCONISH: Okay I think that’s fair I think that’s fair I want to treat it more like a legal process. As an attorney, I found it appalling what I witnessed. Senators being given 5 minutes and instead blowing 4 minutes and 30 seconds of it to grandstand instead of to ask probing questions of both of them.
TROTTER: We can agree on that.
SMERCONISH: Thank you for being here.