In a startling statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Tuesday, he said that President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had no presumption of innocence.
'This is to find the facts'
In a news conference Tuesday, Schumer responded to a statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about the presumption of innocence for Kavanaugh in the face of poorly substantiated accusations of sexual harassment.
"Leader McConnell just said that Judge Kavanaugh deserves the presumption of innocence," a reporter asked. "Do you agree with that? And do you view this hearing through the prism of a legal proceeding?"
"No, it's not a legal proceeding," Schumer responded. "It's a fact-finding committee, we do this with every major nominee and countless times, I think 10 times in the last year, when new information comes up, the FBI goes again and does its background check. This is standard operating procedure."
"And the question looms why are Republicans deviating from here?" he continued. "This is not a criminal trial, this is not a ... this is to find the facts."
"You have to diametrically opposed stories, and there are two issues," Schumer explained. "A, which story is right, and if, if, uhm, Dr. Ford is telling the truth then Judge Kavanaugh's credibility is in great question."
A reporter then repeated the question again.
"I agree that we, this is not, that's a criminal trial," he responded. "What I believe is that we should get to the bottom and find the facts in the way that the FBI has always done."
"There's no presumption of innocence or guilt when you have a nominee before you," he concluded.
Watch the video of Schumer's comments below:
Later Tuesday, Republicans scheduled a vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday morning, the day after his accuser is going to testify before Congress about her claims against the nominee.