Imagine you’re Marie, hearing that from her senator. It’s hard enough to come forward in the first place. Anita Hill comments, “The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power.”
By the way, Marie’s claim is credible. From initial reporting, it seems she has friends who can testify to her having experienced long-term trauma. Maybe she could even offer an outcry witness—that’s the legal term for the first person someone speaks to after a traumatic event. There’s an exception to the hearsay rule—one of just a handful of exceptions—for outcry witnesses.
Then there’s the non-denial from the second man involved in Marie’s alleged sexual assault.
Feinstein’s behavior goes against every fiber of #MeToo. So, too, does the notion that 65 women saying nice things about a man another woman has accused of sexual assault has any bearing on her allegation.
We’ve been here before and gotten it wrong: Clarence Thomas is proof.
As shocking as Feinstein’s behavior was and is, it’s even more shocking—if predictable—that Republicans are trying to cure the allegation with a letter from 65 women who merely attended high school in the same area as Brett.
Can you name 65 classmates from your own high school who knew you well enough that their opinion should have a bearing on your employment? Sixty-five classmates of one gender? What about 65 peers of the same gender who didn’t attend school with you but knew you so well they could offer a character reference decades later?
Then there’s the fact that some women signed on to the letter as early as Thursday, before the allegations against Kavanaugh became public. One confirms she signed without any knowledge of any specific accusations. The only letter that matters in this scenario is the one Marie wrote.
The reasons to postpone a confirmation vote are growing. Expect more reveals as the document review continues.