Cuomo Insists Kavanaugh Didn’t Deserve ‘Presumption of Innocence’
CNN anchor didn't try to hide bias as he lashed out at POTUS for his defense of the newest Supreme Court justice
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (pictured above left) insisted late Tuesday that “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (above right) because the sexual assault allegations against him were considered in the Senate, not a courtroom.
“But the presumption of innocence is a valued, valued construct in a court of law. We were not in a court of law. This was a kangaroo court. This was politicians fighting over a position on the Supreme Court,” Cuomo said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“So, ‘proven innocent,’ the president says. This is a perfect time for Mark Twain’s quote, ‘Lies, damn lies, and then you have statistics,'” Cuomo continued. “It is a lie to say that the presumption applied here because, like I just said, we’re not in a court. And [President Donald] Trump knew that this was going to be a political measure.”
“So it’s a lie. It’s a damn lie to say that he was found innocent. We certainly don’t know to any certainty that Kavanaugh was blameless on all fronts,” Cuomo insisted.
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh Saturday following a grueling process that turned brutal during its last three weeks, after Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh publicly on September 16 of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, during a high school gathering in Maryland.
“In our country, a man or a woman, must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, also came forward with accusations of sexual assault against Trump’s nominee. Kavanaugh repeatedly and unequivocally denied all of the sexual assault allegations leveled against him.
Both Kavanaugh and Ford testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He was confirmed 50-48 Saturday and sworn in later that day, following an FBI review of the allegations.
Cuomo, who is also a licensed attorney, disagreed with Trump’s and other Republicans’ insistence upon Kavanaugh’s innocence until proven guilty. In particular, Cuomo took aim at some remarks Trump delivered at Kavanaugh’s ceremonial swearing in ceremony Monday at the White House.
“In our country, a man or a woman, must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” Trump said before addressing Kavanaugh directly. “And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny were proven innocent.”
Agreeing that “innocent until proven guilty” is “one of the most sacred principles of our justice system,” Cuomo still insisted that Kavanaugh shouldn’t be viewed that way. Cuomo also said that “innocent until proven guilty” really shouldn’t have been “a regular refrain right up until his confirmation.”
Cuomo then tried to point out a double standard in how Trump views “innocent until proven guilty” by highlighting Trump’s defense Monday of “stop and frisk” measures for the crime-ridden city of Chicago.
“But ‘stop and frisk’ runs counter to innocent until proven guilty,” Cuomo said, noting that Chicago’s crime statistics have recently dropped. “So how does Trump’s call for the presumption of innocence make any sense? Simple. He hands out innocence if it seems to be politically useful.”
“Here’s the problem with us on this one for Trump. He says things that he doesn’t apply consistently. ‘Due process for Kavanaugh! Innocent until proven guilty’ when it doesn’t apply and if anything that process was rigged in favor of Kavanaugh,” Cuomo said as he impersonated Trump.
During his speech before police officers Monday, Trump endorsed ‘stop and frisk’ measures, saying that he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “go to the great city of Chicago to help straighten out the terrible shooting wave.”
“I’ve told them to work with local authorities to try to change the horrible deal the city of Chicago’s entered into with [the American Civil Liberties Union] ACLU, which ties law enforcement’s hands, and to strongly consider ‘stop and frisk.’ It works. And it was meant for problems like Chicago,” Trump insisted. “It was meant for it. Stop and frisk!”