Political analyst: Accusation against Kavanaugh will be difficult to verify

Former prosecutor Rick Mullaney says date of alleged assault plays key role

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the potential testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has the attention of the entire country.

It’s also something News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney is watching closely.

Mullaney, who's a former prosecutor, said Tuesday that the bottom line is that it will be very difficult to know what really happened in the early 1980s between Kavanaugh and his accuser.

"It's a very serious matter and you're going to see the public hearing next Monday," Mullaney said. "Judge Cavanaugh's nomination hangs in the balance."

Mullaney is director of the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University and an experienced lawyer.

He said the accusation against Kavanaugh is serious. He said it will also going to be difficult to verify, considering the alleged assault happened in the early 1980s.

"Here you have something 36 years ago where there was drinking and they were teenagers," Mullaney said. "That doesn't mean that people aren't sincere in their testimony. It just means that after the passing of more than three and a half decades, plus alcohol plus the youth involved, it's going to be very, very hard to determine what happened here."

Kavanaugh has been appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the confirmation process. Even if the accusation can’t be proven, it can derail the nominee because this isn’t a criminal case.

"That is not what this is. This is a Senate confirmation hearing, and the real audience is the public and the senators. The senators cast the deciding vote," Mullaney said. "If two of those Republican senators, in particular, are persuaded that for whatever reason they can't go forward with his nomination, he could lose the nomination. So the stakes are very high in next week's hearing."

Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh before she testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week, her lawyers said in a letter sent Tuesday to the panel.

An FBI investigation "should be the first step in addressing the allegations," the lawyers wrote in the letter.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation that he groped her and tried to pull off her clothes during a party in high school in the early 1980s. 

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