Senator Sullivan Sets Record Straight on Kavanaugh Protesters

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) released the following statement on protests today in opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“There has been a number of questions raised today regarding a protest in and directly outside of my Washington, D.C. office in opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Given the attention this has received, I believe it warrants a response.

“First, I try to meet with each and every Alaskan visiting Washington, D.C. In recent weeks I’ve met with numerous individuals, groups and organizations expressing their support for and opposition against the Kavanaugh nomination, including many from our Alaska Native community – a group I deeply respect. This group was no different. They had requested a meeting with me earlier in the week and we offered them a 3pm meeting today. They declined to participate. Today, during their protest, they demanded to meet with me immediately. Unfortunately I was participating in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at the time.

“Second, these protesters were not turned away from my office. It is my personal policy, and that of my staff, to show respect for all my Alaskan constituents, whether in my office, town halls, or meetings throughout the state. This particular group stayed in my office for approximately 15 minutes, where they were listened to in a respectful manner, and left on their own accord. Due to requirements of the Architect of the Capitol, which restricts the number of people allowed in my front office, the group was only asked to limit the number of individuals inside my office to 11 people while others waited outside.

“Third, my office did not notify the U.S. Capitol Police. No protesters were arrested inside my Senate office, nor were any protesters arrested at the request of myself or any member of my staff. Any arrests made today, including those made in the hallways or public passageways of the Senate Hart Office Buildings, were at the discretion of the U.S. Capitol Police – charged with protecting the U.S. Congress; its legislative processes, employees, visitors, and facilities from crime and disruption. It is our understanding that these individuals were offered multiple opportunities by the U.S. Capitol Police to cease what has been described as "unlawful demonstration activities,” including obstructing public passageways and business activities. Some chose to do so, while others chose to be arrested.

“I believe all Alaskans deserve to be heard in a respectful manner. Since the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, I’ve regularly met with Alaskans on these important issues, including a number of groups and individuals from our Alaska Native community. As I stated before, if I believed or saw evidence that Judge Kavanaugh’s views were somehow opposed or hostile to Alaska Natives — a very important population of our state that includes my wife, daughters, and mother-in-law — I would not support his confirmation.

“Lastly, on recent claims made against Judge Kavanaugh. I would like to reiterate that allegations of sexual assault should be taken seriously. Both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh deserve the right to be heard on this matter. I commend Chairman Grassley on committing to as much and will be following Thursday’s Committee hearing closely.”