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Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) at the Flemington Corn, Tomato and Beer Festival on August 4, 2018

Lance clarifies statements on Kavanaugh accuser

GOP congressman: ‘I want to hear from both sides’

By Nikita Biryukov, September 27 2018 12:00 pm

Rep. Leonard Lance told the New Jersey Globe Thursday morning that he doubted Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because, at the time his comments doubting Ford’s allegations were made, her lawyer indicated she might not testify.

“At that point, the lawyer for Dr. Ford said she might not testify, and I’m pleased she’s testifying and I want to hear her testimony, but I certainly think that a person has a responsibility to testify,” Lance said.

A truncated recording used in an online ad put out by Democrat Tom Malinowski’s campaign quote’s Lance saying that he tended not to believe Ford’s accusation.

“I tend not to believe the charges, but they are serious charges. But certainly, we have a right in this country to confront our accusers,” Lance said at a meeting of the Rutgers College Republicans on September 18. “If the person who has accused the judge of that behavior refuses to testify, then I think that would not be a good thing.”

Malinowski’s ad only quotes Lance calling the Kavanaugh a “brilliant judge” and doubting the Ford’s allegations. It does not include Lance’s comments calling the charges serious.

It’s unclear where Lance stands on the allegations. At time of writing, Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee is ongoing, and Lance wouldn’t indicate whether her choice to do so had improved his view of the credibility of Ford’s claims.

“I want to hear from both sides,” Lance said. “I want to hear from both sides, and I think that Dr. Ford should be treated with respect.”

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