Ohio senators react to Kavanaugh hearing

Sen. Rob Portman said he plans to vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying Christine Blasey Ford was not able to produce anyone to corroborate her accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when both were teenagers.

Portman, R-Ohio, a longtime friend of Kavanaugh’s and who introduced him earlier this month to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said while “allegations of sexual assault should be taken very seriously,” he said “in America there is a presumption of innocence when there is no evidence to corroborate a charge.”

“Judge Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegation,” Portman said. “The only three others named by Dr. Ford as being present, including Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford described as one of her lifelong friends, have no recollection of this event or this party. “

“In fact, Ms. Keyser says she was never at a party with Brett Kavanaugh and, in fact, does not know Brett Kavanaugh,” Portman said.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who had already announced he would vote against Kavanaugh, said “Dr. Ford’s courage is inspiring and I am very grateful to her for coming forward to tell her story, even in the face of deep personal cost.”

“She was moving, heartfelt and honest,” said Brown.

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