Law&Crime Network host and former prosecutor Bob Bianchi slammed the idea that Christine Blasey Ford‘s allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amounts to an unknowable “he said, she said” sort of situation.
During a segment regarding the potential political fallout from an FBI investigation into Ford’s claims, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle asked the former Morris County, New Jersey prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney the following series of questions:
Some people are saying this is crazy teens doing things that, you know, teenagers do. And on the other hand, maybe it is a case of sexual assault. So, how complicated is it, for a “he said, she said,” case for someone like Dr. Ford to come forward and tell her story in a public setting like this? What goes through how this works?
Bianchi replied, “As the prosecutors put those cases together, they happen all the time. I hate this ‘he said, she said.’ The fact of the matter is: you can convict in a criminal court beyond a reasonable doubt [with] 12 jurors where you can’t compel the testimony of a defendant–based upon the jury just assessing the credibility of the victim themselves.”
At this point, Ruhle interjected to say, “But it’s not a criminal investigation.”
That was more or less Bianchi’s point. He continued, “Exactly. So, there’s even less of a standard there. There isn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt needed. There isn’t a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent; Kavanaugh has to testify. There isn’t a presumption of innocence. What I’m saying is that if you can do it in a criminal prosecution–where all the rules are slanted against a prosecutor–you certainly can do it in this kind of hearing.”
Bianchi then read from a series of New Jersey jury instructions designated for cases with lone witnesses. He noted some of those questions, such as:
What’s their interest in the outcome of the case?…What’s their ability to know? What’s their motive? What was their candor like and their demeanor on the stand? Were they evasive or not evasive?
Bianchi then cited Christine Ford’s taking a polygraph test as evidence of the alleged victim’s candor and apparent lack of evasiveness. “Look, she’s taking a polygraph. That’s an aggressive action to say, ‘I’m telling the truth.'”
Ruhle interjected again, saying, “She put someone else in the room who would not be her ally.” Bianchi picked up on that detail and concurred with Ruhle’s point:
As a prosecutor that would have been the biggest thing for me to say, ‘I believe in the credibility of the allegation.’ I’m not saying it’s true. The fact that she could have just said it was just me and him and no one else was there. She put his friend in the room–who is likely not to be a positive witness. That speaks truth to me as far as somebody that’s going forward.
Bianchi also slammed Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for refusing to call Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, as a third witness during the hearings scheduled for Monday.
Judge was accused of witnessing the alleged incident, but denied it.
“When Senator Grassley says that he won’t even call or compel the supposedly third party that was in the room there–won’t do any more due diligence–it’s an insult,” Bianchi said.
[image via screengrab]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
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