Chris Coons told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he believes the FBI should thoroughly investigate the allegations of sexual assault made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Coons is a Democratic Senator of Delaware, won a special election in 2010 to succeed Ted Kaufman, who had been appointed to the seat when Joe Biden resigned to become vice president.
Coons is testifying on September 27 at Kavanaugh’s hearing. Here’s what you need to know about Coons and his thoughts on Kavanaugh:
1. Coons Believes That It Should Be Left Up To Kavanaugh To Prove His Innocence
According to the Washington Times, Coon insisted on Monday that the burden of proof lies with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to prove his innocence.
Coons said that Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez “have nothing to gain” and have put themselves “at legal risk” by accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his high school and college years.
“It is Judge Kavanaugh who is seeking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and who I think now bears the burden of disproving these allegations,” said Mr. Coons in a Monday interview on MSNBC, “rather than Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez who should be dismissed with slanderous accusations.”
2. Coons Met With Kavanaugh on Thursday Despite Many Senate Democrats Refusing to Meet The Nominee
Coons was split with other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who refused to meet with Kavanaugh prior to his hearing on Thursday, saying it was a “key part” of their jobs to meet with the Supreme Court nominee.
“I think a key part of doing our job as members of the Judiciary Committee is to go ahead and interview the nominee and go ahead and bring the strongest arguments we can to help the American people see what concerns we have about Judge Kavanaugh,” Coons told MSNBC on Friday.
Coons met with Kavanaugh for a one-on-one meeting Thursday, according to the Washington Examiner. Several other Democrats on the panel, including ranking member Dianne Feinstein, have sat down with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee despite their vocal opposition to Kavanaugh.
3. Coons Strongly Believes The Women Accusing Kavanaugh of Sexual Assault & Thinks They Deserve to Be Heard By All Members of the Senate
Coons told Jake Tapper of CNN that he absolutely believes the women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault, and thinks the FBI needs to thoroughly investigate the allegations.
“I believe them both and I think it’s important for other Senators, in order to assess their truthfulness, to have them testify in front of us, and to have an FBI investigation that would put in front of us more facts,” Coons told Tapper.
Tapper then tells Coons that Mitch McConnell claims the accusations are nothing but a smear campaign against Kavanaugh, to which Coons replied: “I disagree, and I disagree fervently. I think what we have here is the opportunity for the Judiciary committee to show that we can give a respectful hearing to the allegations of victims of sexual abuse.”
Check out the video here.
4. Coons Often Teams Up With Republicans To Find Bipartisan Solutions to Issues Delaware Faces
According to his biography, Coons has worked “tirelessly” to find bipartisan solutions to issues Delaware residents face since taking office. He focuses his efforts strongly on job creation, deficit reduction, progressive social justice, and forward-looking foreign policy.
In March 2017, the Bipartisan Policy Center recognized Coons for his “commitment to working across the aisle” and awarded him its Legislative Action Award. In November 2016, the independent congressional tracking website GovTrack ranked Coons in the top three most productive Senators of both parties, according to his bio.
He often teams up with Republicans to find bipartisan solutions to problems facing Delaware and the United States.
5. Coons is Married With Three Children & Attends a Catholic Church With His Wife, Although He Is Presbyterian
Coons is married to the Annie Lingenfelter. They have three children: twins Mike and Jack, and their daughter Maggie. They live in Wilmington, Delaware.
Although Coons is a Presbyterian, his wife is Catholic, so they attend St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Wilmington together. Coons describes himself as “someone who is, privately, fairly religious,” though he has never thought “that needs to be a big part of [campaigning].”
Coons grew up in the Pine Creek and Hockessin areas, and holds two honorary degrees, a doctorate in public administration from Goldey-Beacom College and an honorary law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School, according to his bio.