The site NTK Network dug up an old clip of Joe Biden pontificating at the Clarence Thomas hearing about the value of FBI reports in helping Senators reach a conclusion in such a scenario. According to Biden, anyone who “refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything.” The clip was spreading quickly on Twitter when Cocaine Mitch picked it up and suggested Democrats might want to consider it:
My Democrat friends might want to consider this from then-Judiciary Committee Chairman JOE BIDEN (D-DE) In 1991: The ‘FBI Explicitly Does Not, In This Or Any Other Case Reach A Conclusion, Period’ pic.twitter.com/NvAI3RqevL
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) September 25, 2018
Biden says, “The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything.” He continues, “FBI explicitly does not, in this or any other case, reach a conclusion, period. Period.” Biden also added, “So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions.”
There are already some folks on Twitter arguing that no one is demanding the FBI reach a conclusion, only that they investigate the claims. I guess that’s a fair point, but I don’t think everyone demanding an FBI investigation has been crystal clear about that.
In fact, earlier today it was big news when Senator Lisa Murkowski told CNN’s Manu Raju, in response to a question about an FBI investigation, “It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn’t it?” Well, here’s Joe Biden circa 1991 saying no it would not clear everything up. By the way, it’s worth noting that Murkowski later backed away from that statement saying she was being “somewhat flip.”
Need another example? Sen. Gillibrand made news when she said, “someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate their claims.” She added, “Who is not asking the FBI to investigate these claims? The White House…Judge Kavanaugh.” You can spin that any way you want but the clear implication of Sen. Gillibrand’s statement is that the FBI is key to revealing which party is telling the truth. And because everyone knows that, one party is avoiding an FBI investigation.
But again, the FBI would not reach a conclusion about who is telling the truth or even give a hint about who it thinks is being more honest. That’s still going to be up to the Senators themselves to decide.
The clip featured above is actually a shorter version of the clip published by NTK on its own website. The fuller clip also reveals Biden’s opinion on another current controversy: Who bears the burden of proof and who deserves the presumption of innocence?
“I said from the beginning, this is about whether or not sexual harassment occurred,” Biden said. He added, “And lastly, Judge, with me, from the beginning, and at this moment, until the end, the presumption is with you.”
Here’s the fuller version of the clip. Again, credit goes to NTK Network for unearthing this.