Senate Democrats and the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct continue to call for the FBI to investigate the claims — but Sen. Joe Biden from 1991 would push back against that demand, based on an old C-SPAN video that resurfaced Tuesday.
The video shows a much-younger Biden directing some animated remarks toward eventual Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his fellow committee members during his confirmation hearing.
“And the last thing I will point out, the next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything,” Biden said in the video.
What else did he say?
The Daily Wire provided more quotes not shown in the above video clip, as Biden, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee gave his thoughts on the value of FBI information in determining the validity of Anita Hill’s accusations against Thomas.
“The reason why I have worked so hard to keep FBI reports totally secret is because they have little or no probative weight, because they are hearsay,” Biden said. “The FBI does their interviews by walking up to person A and saying will you speak to us, and the guarantee is anonymity. That is what the FBI tells the person, and the FBI speaks to the person. Now, for us to summarily go back and say, as a matter of policy, that we are going to break the commitment the Federal Government makes to an individual, in order to get that individual to cooperate in an investigation, is disastrous.”
And from the video clip:
“And the last thing I will point out, the next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything,” Biden later said. “FBI explicitly does not, in this or any other case reach a conclusion, period, period. So, Judge, there is no reason why you should know this. The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report, you would not like it if we did because it is inconclusive. They say he said, she said, and they said, period. So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not, they do not reach conclusions. They do not make, as my friend points out more accurately, they do not make recommendations.”
Biden’s worst moment?
The San Francisco Chronicle called the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings Biden’s “worst moment as a senator.”
Thomas was accused by his onetime colleague in a federal agency, Anita Hill, of long-running sexual harassment. Biden allowed Judiciary Committee members to savage her during questioning during the Thomas hearings and refused to call witnesses who were prepared to back up Hill’s testimony.
That was all dusty history — until Christine Blasey Ford showed up. Now everyone is looking back at Anita Hill, and Biden’s performance hasn’t aged well. Even he knows it — he has said he owes Hill an apology.
Even his sort-of apology doesn’t fully take responsibility for any perceived wrongs in that hearing, as Biden lamented that he “couldn’t have stopped” the attacks on Hill, saying “I wish I could have done more” to prevent the harsh questions she was asked.
“I never attacked her, I supported her, I believed her from the beginning and I voted against Clarence Thomas,” Biden told NBC’s Today last week.