Nearly three decades after Anita Hill testified about her own sexual harassment allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she advised the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to “push the pause button” on high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Speaking exclusively on “Good Morning America,” Hill told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that she backs Christine Blasey Ford’s request for an FBI investigation into her allegation that an intoxicated Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party 36 years ago, which he has vehemently denied.
“Absolutely, it’s the right move,” Hill said of Ford’s request. “The hearing questions need to have a frame and the investigation is the best frame for that. A neutral investigation, that can pull together the facts, create a record, so that the senators can draw on the information they receive to develop their question.”
If the purpose of the hearing is to get to the truth, an investigation is unavoidable, Hill said, though cautioning senators to proceed with the U.S. public in mind.
“The American public really is expecting something more,” she told “GMA.” “The American public wants to know about what happened and they want to know that the Senate takes this seriously.”
Hill, whose 1991 Senate testimony occurred five days after her allegations went public, reflected on her feeling as though the public hearing was meant to deter her from going forward with her testimony 27 years ago. Such sentiments seem to have resurfaced in how Republican Senators are approaching Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh, Hill said.
“It occurs to me that two things are going on, that either they don’t take this seriously, that they aren’t concerned about this complaint as many Americans are, or that they just want to get it over. I’m not sure which is in play,” she said, adding, “Maybe they’re not concerned or maybe they just don’t know how to handle this kind of a situation.”
Hill had accused Thomas of making unwanted advances and lewd remarks when they worked at the Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s, which he denied.
While she did not offer direct advice to Ford, she urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold off on going forward with the hearing.
“My advice is to push the pause button on this hearing, get the information together, bring in the experts and put together a hearing that is fair, that is impartial, that is not biased by politics or by myth and bring this information to the American public,” she said.