Reporter April Ryan recently asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki whether President Biden has consulted Anita Hill on his Supreme Court nomination process for replacing retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. There are many reasons Biden would not do this, starting with the fact Biden thought Hill lied in her allegations against Clarence Thomas.
Also, Hill has long criticized Biden for the way he allegedly treated her during Thomas’s shocking 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Why would he consult her?
As a senator, Biden chaired those Thomas-Hill hearings. After Thomas testified, Hill claimed Thomas had sexually harassed her when she worked for Thomas at the Department of Education and then at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Yes, that’s right, Anita Hill, a Yale-educated lawyer, actually followed her alleged harasser to another job.
Hill testified, Thomas testified, and then several witnesses testified for Hill and another group supported Thomas. Not a single one of Hill’s coworkers came forward to support her allegations. Many colleagues, including many women, sided with Thomas and raised serious issues about the veracity of Hill’s claims. At the end of the hearings, a NY Times/CBS poll showed that the American people believed Thomas by a margin of 58 percent to 24 percent. Only 26 percent of women believed Hill.
Several senators have said that Biden told them he did not believe Hill. Sen. Orrin Hatch said, “Biden told me personally that he didn’t believe her. He said, ‘I don’t know why she did this.’”
In his memoirs, Sen. Arlen Specter, the lead Republican senator questioning Hill during the hearings, wrote that Biden told him in 1998, in a taped interview, that he believed Hill was lying to Specter about a key part of her testimony—whether, in the couple weeks before the hearing, she had discussed with Democrat Senate staffers the idea that all she had to do was make her allegations and Thomas would withdraw without her ever having to come forward by name.
Hill, who had been discussing in detail alleged conversations with Thomas and others that happened many years earlier, told Specter she could not remember any such conversations. According to Specter:
After this exchange Biden recessed the committee. Biden told me in November 1998, ‘It was clear to me from the way she was answering the questions, she was lying.’
‘At that point I truncated the hearing and recessed it early for lunch,’ Biden said. ‘I turned to my chief of staff and said, ‘Go down and tell her lawyers that if her recollection is not refreshed by the time she gets back, I will be compelled to pursue the same line of questioning the Senator [Specter] did. Because it seems to me, she did what he said.’’
Sure enough, when Hill came back to testify after the lunch break, she had changed her story. Hill’s efforts to say she had not lied or changed her story perfectly demonstrates how she was willing to lie about everything, and why men and women overwhelmingly did not believe her, including Biden.
On the day Thomas was confirmed, I was with Thomas and some friends at his home when Biden called Thomas to congratulate him on his confirmation, telling Thomas he was a “person of character,” and not to get down about what had just happened to him. Does that sound like someone who believed Hill?
Since the Hill-Thomas hearings, the left has driven a baseless story that Biden had unfairly treated Hill, and, in fact, owed her an apology. Hill trafficked in this lunacy too, even saying it was fair to call Biden a liar.
But Biden never reached out to Hill until 2019, when he decided to run for president. With the Me Too movement in full swing, Biden called Hill and then went on “The View” to say he always believed Hill from the beginning. Even though Biden has a long history of lying, he still couldn’t bring himself to apologize for the way he had allegedly treated her, saying, “I don’t think I treated her badly.”
Hill snapped back to criticize Biden for his comments, but went effectively stone-cold silent as Biden emerged as the front runner. Even after Biden was credibly accused of sexual assault by a former staffer, Tara Reade, Hill was silent for weeks until The New York Times published a story weeks later that essentially forced Hill to issue a feeble written statement that there should be an independent investigation into Reade’s charges. Of course, there never was one, and Hill never raised the issue again.
Hill has always been more interested in using sexual harassment allegations as a political weapon against Republicans than actually caring about the issue. Soon after her Thomas allegations, Hill appeared on “Meet the Press” to smear Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, who had raised sexual harassment and assault claims against President Bill Clinton. Hill stated it was important to look at how Clinton has “been on women’s issues generally and … there are larger issues other than just individual behavior.”
Hill’s revealing comments explain why she apparently said little to nothing about the very credible sexual assault charges against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo until after he resigned. In contrast, she was quick to attack Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when he was baselessly accused of sexual assault charges by Christine Blasey Ford and other shockingly absurd allegations. Like Times Up and other so-called feminist writers who have weaponized this issue, Hill has undermined making progress on efforts to stamp out sexual harassment.
Biden and his allies on the left used a willing Hill to try to take down Thomas. They failed. Too bad for them. Thomas has been on the Supreme Court for 30 years, and has been called, even by his critics, “the most important legal thinker of his generation, and the most significant judicial appointment of the last forty years.” Many now call it The Thomas Court.
Even if Biden ends up calling Hill to pander to the left again, don’t for a minute think that he believes her. He would again be using her as she used him in 1991.