“I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change,” Hirono said during a press event on Tuesday.
Hirono is part of the Senate Judiciary Committee tasked to hear testimony from Kavanaugh and vote on his nomination. She’s one of only four women on the committee. The hearings, which began earlier this month, have been scheduled to continue next week after Christine Blasey Ford, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, publicly accused Kavanaugh in a Sunday news story of sexually assaulting her in 1982 during a high school party.
“I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee ... to demand an FBI investigation,” Hirono said earlier in the presser. “But really, guess who’s perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country.”
Blasey, a Palo Alto University professor, went public with her identity and full story on Sunday in an explosive interview with The Washington Post. She accused a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and grinding on her, while attempting to take her clothes off. Blasey said when she tried to scream he put his hand over her mouth to silence her. Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied Ford’s allegation.
Since Blasey came forward, she and her family have received death threats, forcing them to move from their home.
“Let’s face it, this is so patently unfair to her and what really bothers me and gets me so angry is that the White House is victimizing this person,” Hirono said. “Why don’t we get that out there? Why should we participate in a victimization of someone who has the courage to come forward and she is under absolutely no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family.”
President Donald Trump has continued to defend his Supreme Court pick in the face of the accusation, recently adding that he feels “terribly” for Kavanaugh. Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 20 women.
It is unclear whether Blasey will testify during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing next week, but the professor told The Washington Post in Sunday’s story: “I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and my terror about retaliation.”