Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Kavanaugh vetting process ‘was a sham’

ABC News
ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said she still opposes Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court as recent reporting by the New York Times raises questions about the vetting process last fall.

The reporting by the newspaper indicates there was a lack of a thorough FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against the Supreme Court justice when he was a nominee and detailed an additional allegation that was reportedly not investigated.

ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Klobuchar on “This Week” Sunday if she thinks the latest updates on the Brett Kavanaugh assault allegations are grounds for impeachment of the now-Supreme Court Justice, Klobuchar said she has opposed his confirmation since last September when she was praised for her handling of questioning of Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I strongly oppose him, based on his views on the executive power which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today,” Klobuchar said. “My concern here is that the process was a sham.”

She went on to say she believes the Department of Justice should be investigated by Congress for shielding of relevant documents by Attorney General William Barr.

“I don’t think you can look at impeachment hearings without getting the documents, the House would have to get the documents, and the attorney general is shielding documents,” Klobuchar said, before adding that in order for any of this to happen, the country needs new leadership. “You need a new president, you need a new attorney general that respects the law.”

On her Thursday night ABC News Democratic presidential debate performance and the current divide between moderate and progressives in the race, Klobuchar reiterated that she thinks it’s a “bad idea” to pursue proposals like “Medicare for All” which would eliminate private health insurance options.

“I don’t think that’s what people want. I don’t think it’s a bold idea, I think it’s a bad idea,” Klobuchar said.

She added that if voters do want to see “149 million off of their insurance” in four years, “well, then I’m not your candidate because I don’t think you should be throwing people off their current insurance in four years.”

On the issue of gun control, the Minnesota senator said during the Houston debate that while she supports a ban on assault-style weapons, she does not support a mandatory buyback program, such as the one former Democratic Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has been pushing for since the August mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. Instead, Klobuchar called for a “voluntary buyback program” on Thursday night.

Asked by Stephanopoulos on “This Week” if she thinks the proposals being floated by some Democrats would hurt the party’s chances of winning the general election, Klobuchar said such policies would best be approached in Congress.

“I want to make clear, I want to see an assault weapon ban,” Klobuchar said on Sunday. “I think the smartest thing to do is, one, right now push Mitch McConnell to allow for votes on universal background checks and my bill to not allow domestic abusers to get guns. Then when I’m president, I will get that assault weapon ban passed as well as a limit on magazines.”

In terms of her campaign moving forward and her strategy going into the fall, Klobuchar noted that while it’s important for her to win the presidency, she also think it’s important to win seats in the Senate and to stick to her moderate approach.

“We don’t just need to win the presidency, we also have to win the Senate, and that means winning in states like Colorado and Arizona and Alabama and how important that is to get things done,” Klobuchar said. “My argument is I’m from the middle of the country, I was one of only three women up on that stage, and also I’m someone that has a history of getting things done and bringing people together, which is what we need in this country.”

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