Donald Trump apologises to Brett Kavanaugh on 'behalf of nation'

Oct 09, 2018, 11:45 IST | IANS

Trump added that "under historic scrutiny", Kavanaugh had been "proven innocent"

Donald Trump apologises to Brett Kavanaugh on 'behalf of nation'
Brett Kavanaugh (L) is sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) before wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh (2nd-R), daughters Margaret (2nd-L) and Elizabeth (C), and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

US President Donald Trump apologised to Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his family "on behalf of our nation" for what he called a desperate Democrat-led campaign of "lies and deception" intent on derailing his confirmation.

Trump remarks came on Monday night during Kavanaugh's swearing-in ceremony in the East Room of the White House, reports Fox News. "On behalf of our nation, I want to apologise to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure," Trump 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. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process.

"In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," he added. Trump added that "under historic scrutiny", Kavanaugh had been "proven innocent". The President harshly condemned the investigation which Kavanaugh was subjected to, without mentioning the allegations or the name of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who testified before the Senate that Kavanaugh was going to rape her when they were in high school.

Following Ford's testimony, Trump ordered the FBI to look into the matter. The FBI interviewed a limited number of witnesses in five days, without ruling on whether the new judge was guilty or innocent of the sexual abuse claims. Taking the podium as the Supreme Court's newest Justice, Kavanaugh acknowledged the partisan rancor that surrounded his confirmation and gripped the nation over the past two months, Fox News reported.

"I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness," he said. "My goal is to be a great justice, for all Americans, and for all of America... I will work very hard to achieve that goal. I was not appointed to serve one party or one interest, but one nation." The Monday evening oath was entirely ceremonial.

Kavanaugh took his official oaths in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court on Saturday, shortly after the Senate voted to confirm him by a narrow 50-48 margin. Saturday's vote was the closest to confirm a justice since 1881.

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