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Kavanaugh former colleague: Forceful behavior shows his innocence

Helgi Walker, a former colleague of Brett Kavanaugh in the White House counsel’s office during the George W. Bush administration, says the judge’s defiant behavior in a Senate Judiciary hearing was typical of someone who is innocent. Walker joins Amna Nawaz to share her reaction to Kavanaugh’s testimony.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    We turn now to Helgi Walker. She worked with Brett Kavanaugh in the White House Counsel's Office during the George W. Bush administration. Ms. Walker also clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and is now in private practice in Washington, D.C.

    Ms. Walker, thank you for joining us.

    I see we're having some audio issues. So, you're hearing me on your phone.

    But thank you for being with us.

    I want to ask you about what you heard from Judge Kavanaugh in his testimony today, as you watched him, defiant at times, emotional at others. What did you make of his testimony?

  • Helgi Walker:

    I thought he did a wonderful job today of showing that he is innocent of these charges.

    I heard some of the earlier folks on the — your show saying that he was aggressive. I'm a lawyer. I have worked in investigations. And when you confront people who have not done something with an allegation that they have committed a crime, they react strongly.

    This was the behavior of somebody who is innocent. And, yes, people react strongly and I think emotionally. And I cried, my husband cried, because we know Judge Kavanaugh, and we know what he's been through. And we also know that he's innocent of these charges.

    If I could just talk about some of the facts that came out, that, I think, is really important for your viewers and people who are fair-minded.

    Judge Kavanaugh said he doesn't discredit Mrs. Ford's story that she was sexually assaulted somewhere sometime by somebody. But she is the only person that has come forward with the story. Four of the people that she chose to name have not corroborated her story. And, indeed, they have refuted it.

    Her friend Leland Keyser said it wasn't true. She has never even met or been in a room with Judge Kavanaugh. So, we have one person's statement on the other side and five people's statements on the other.


  • Amna Nawaz:

    I'm so sorry to interrupt, Ms. Walker. I do want to make sure we're respectful of the time that you have with us.

    And I understand a lot of these points were laid out earlier as well and in the testimony we covered in full earlier today.

  • Helgi Walker:


  • Amna Nawaz:

    So, I would like if you — if you don't mind, to get your experience and reaction to what you heard today.

    You did mention you cried watching some of the testimony.

  • Helgi Walker:


  • Amna Nawaz:

    Judge Kavanaugh himself was holding back tears at several points.

    I'm wondering, in the years that you have known him, have you ever seen him that emotional and that sort of defiant in any — in any way, professional or otherwise?

  • Helgi Walker:

    I have not. But he's a sensitive person.

    He has a very gentle soul. And, as a friend of his, as a former colleague, he's always been sensitive to my life issues. And people need to understand that his — everything he has worked for, an exemplary life, is — is — is on the line here, because of unsubstantiated allegations that were dropped on him at the last minute.

    And it's not partisan to say that. It is a fact that none of this was brought forward until days before his vote was scheduled. And, yes, I think he has been — I think he has been rocked to the core by this.

    And he's behaving like an innocent person who is shocked that any of this is, frankly, even happening.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Ms. Walker, I want to make clear we have reached out to a number of people who knew Brett Kavanaugh in high school, and many of them, particularly over the last several days, have become increasingly reluctant to come on television.

    They want to speak on background. They will — they will give quotes not for attribution. In fact, one woman I spoke to today, in explaining why she didn't want to give an interview, said "I don't want to get dragged into a circus. And I don't want to feed the media frenzy around the train wreck that is this process."

    I think a lot of people feel as if things have gotten a little bit out of control.

    I'm curious as to why you feel comfortable stepping forward, especially when the partisan politics has become so heated. Why are you speaking out in support of Judge Kavanaugh?

  • Helgi Walker:

    I'm a lawyer. I'm a professional. I get paid to talk.

    And I have — I think I'm a little older than maybe some of the people that you're talking to. And I'm, like Judge Kavanaugh, a pretty loyal friend. He's always been there for me when I needed him. And I'm going to be there for him now to tell people that I believe he's done nothing of the sort, and that this behavior — his testimony today, I think, is wonderful.

    So, I have been through the fire. I have lived in Washington for a while. I'm a litigator. I can handle this. But it's not fun for any of us.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Helgi Walker, we appreciate your time in joining us today. Thank you very much.

  • Helgi Walker:

    Thank you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Thank you, Amna.

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