President Trump opened his remarks at a public swearing-in ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with an apology for the way the judge, who was accused of sexual assault by several women, was treated during the confirmation process.
“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,” the president said.
“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,” Trump added.
“What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process,” he said.
“A man or a woman must be presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty,” the president said to applause from supporters and staff. “You sir, under historic scrutiny were proven innocent,” Trump declared.
POTUS' opening remarks at the Kavanaugh swearing-in:
"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."
"…you sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent." pic.twitter.com/4gtLenTV7T
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 8, 2018
The FBI agreed to the White House’s constraints last week not to interview Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the early 80s or to respond to many people stepping forward with new information.
The bureau also agreed in their reopened background check not to follow up on possible lies Kavanaugh is accused of telling in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to the Associated Press, the public swearing-in ceremony is fairly unusual for new justices, noting that only Samuel Alito and Stephen Breyer participated in a White House event after they had been sworn-in and begun work as a justice.
The entire sitting Supreme Court attended Trump’s public swearing-in ceremony for Kavanaugh on Monday evening.