Trump apologizes to Kavanaugh, says he was 'proven innocent'

Sen. Lindsey Graham. CNN screen capture

More people believed California college professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accused the judge of trying to rape her when they were both high school students, and other women who accused him of misconduct than believed his denials, according to the CNN poll.

Trump has repeatedly said that putting conservatives on the court - Kavanaugh is his second appointment - was among the top goals of his presidency. "What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process".

Media captionDonald Trump's nominee has been embroiled in a bitter battle over sexual assault allegations. In so doing, Trump apologized to Kavanaugh "on behalf of our nation", for the "terrible pain and suffering" he has been "forced to endure" at the hands of the opposition's alleged campaign of "personal destruction based on lies and deception".

Justice Kavanaugh was joined at the ceremony by his wife and two daughters. "You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent".

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices, from left, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer watch from the front row as Brett Kavanaugh takes his ceremonial oath of office while participating in a ceremonial public swearing-in in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Oct. 8, 2018.

The ranking member of the House judiciary committee, Jerry Nadler of NY, has said his party would investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh if the Democrats reclaim the majority in the chamber.

During a speech in Florida earlier on Monday, Mr Trump denounced the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh as "a hoax" perpetrated "by people that are evil".

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The judge was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday, in a 50-48 vote that largely followed partisan lines. He claimed he was the first justice to have an all-female staff.

Justice Kavanaugh will be closely scrutinised from his first day on the bench. Almost two-thirds, or 63%, of likely women voters said they will vote for the Democratic congressional nominee in November, compared to 33% of likely women voters who said they'll vote Republican. However, the Republican cautioned that "it remains to be seen whether this lasts for the next three weeks or not".

The 53-year-old justice was sworn in on Saturday evening in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court.

Senator Chris Coons of DE called impeachment talk "premature", while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it "would not be my plan" to impeach the justice.

Independent court analysts, however, predict Kavanaugh is likely to concur with more conservative interpretations of the law, given a solid 5-4 ideological edge on the court to those who lean to the right.

The president said he had many friends who were Democrats, but that the party was pushing politics too far left.

Other analysts said the court's reputation could suffer as it becomes perceived as a political, rather than a legal, institution.

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