Trump to Kavanaugh at swearing-in: ‘You, sir, were proven innocent.’

Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House Monday evening, President Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family “on behalf of our nation” for what he called a desperate Democrat-led campaign of “lies and deception” intent on derailing his confirmation.

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump began. “Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Trump added that “under historic scrutiny,” Kavanaugh had been “proven innocent.” A series of uncorroborated and disputed sexual misconduct allegations had threatened to upend Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and some top Democrats have floated further investigations and even possibly impeaching Kavanaugh.

To sustained, raucous applause, Trump entered the event Monday night flanked by Kavanaugh and former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who hired Kavanaugh as a law clerk from 1993 to 1994. All sitting Supreme Court justices were in attendance, as well as Kavanaugh’s parents, wife, and two daughters.

 

“You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent.”

— President Trump to Brett Kavanaugh

Trump thanked top Republicans for spearheading Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and particularly praised Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins. Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court appeared certain only after Collins delivered a dramatic, point-by-point explanation of her vote for Kavanaugh in a floor speech on Friday afternoon. “We are indebted to Susan Collins for her brave and eloquent speech,” Trump said.

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