When Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with Stephen Colbert set to air on Friday night’s Late Show, it was still up in the air whether or not Christine Blasey Ford would agree to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week about her sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
But stepping back to before she lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump, Colbert had a bigger-picture question for Clinton: “Do you think the nomination process in general is irreparably damaged following the Republicans not allowing Merrick Garland to be heard?”
“Well, it’s one of the reasons I think a lot of Americans are just fed up with the political process,” Clinton, who was promoting the paperback release of her book What Happened, replied. “Because in a democracy, you have to have at least enough trust to be able to work with each other and try to solve difficult problems. When the Republicans refused to give a distinguished judge, appointed by President Obama, even the courtesy of meetings let alone a hearing, that sent such a terrible message.”
Moving on to the current Supreme Court fight, Clinton castigated Republicans for holding back information about Kavanaugh “which was always made available for other nominees,” and “trying to rush this through to the detriment of the American public who deserves to have answers to whatever charges might be presented.”
“So I’m hoping that at some point there will be an agreement to have an investigation,” Clinton said optimistically. “It would be very easy for the FBI to go back and finish the background investigation, to investigate these charges. And, you know, maybe find out there’s nothing to them, maybe find out there’s something to them, but at least have that investigation completed. And I think that’s what is a fair request, for due process to be asked for.”
Despite claims from GOP senators like Orrin Hatch, who recently tweeted, “The FBI does not do investigations like this,” when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, the FBI did reopen its background investigation into the nominee and submitted its report just two days later.
In the same interview, Clinton told Colbert that the president of the United States “absolutely” can be the subject of a criminal investigation, but hedged a bit on whether he or she can be indicted. “Is it something that happened in office or before he got into office?” she asked.
“How about to get into office?” Colbert asked.
“That’s before he got in,” Clinton said, clarifying that she believes any potential crimes committed by the president before he was sworn in are fair game. For any misdeeds that happen in office, she said, “The Constitution has a specific remedy, which is impeachment.”