clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


After two days as the Republicans' designated questioner of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said late Saturday he now has no doubt personally that Anita Hill lied about sexual harassment by Thomas.

"And there's no question in my mind she was coached by special interest groups," he told the Deseret News in an interview. "Her story's too contrived. It's so slick it doesn't compute."He said key signs of that include two charges she made for the first time on Friday, which research by Republicans showed may have been borrowed from a Kansas sexual harassment case and the book, "The Exorcist."

For example, Hill claimed Thomas in a meeting with her once said someone "put a pubic hair" on his Coke can as he picked it up off a desk. Hatch noted that on page 70 in the book, "The Exorcist" - which he held up during hearings on Saturday - a similar episode occurred where a person claimed she found an alien pubic hair in a glass of gin.

Hill had also charged Thomas had referred to the title of a relatively little-known pornographic movie and used it in jokes. Hatch said a use of the same title was found in a Kansas sexual harassment case. Hill is a native of Oklahoma, and a law professor at the University of Oklahoma.

"They didn't think we would find those references," Hatch said. "She didn't bring those instances up when she was interviewed by the FBI. But she brought them up with the committee. It's too contrived, too slick. The language was so unusual she would have had to remember it when the FBI interviewed her."

Hatch added he feels Hill's testimony was carefully designed - with the help of Thomas' enemies - to use racial and sexual stereotypes of black males against Thomas. "They wanted to turn whites against this man. It was a reverse Willie Horton," Hatch said.

(Horton was a black who committed a murder while on a weekend release from a Massachusetts prison. Republicans used ads featuring Horton to attack Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign, amid charges that racial stereotypes were unfairly used to scare whites.)

Other signs Hatch says he used to personally conclude that Hill lied include:

- "She followed him from job to job. How could she do that if he was guilty of that gruesome, sexual harassment?"

- "He's gone through four confirmation hearings. Why would she wait to bring up her allegations until now?"

- "How would any intelligent male who would want to date a woman say things like she alleges?" Hatch said. Thomas says he never wanted to date Hill, but she says he constantly tried. "And she claims he was trying to seduce her with language like that."

Also, Hatch said, "All the people who really know Judge Thomas believe him. I've known him for 11 years, and I don't believe he is capable of that kind of harassment."

Hatch also predicted, "I think he will be confirmed. But we still have a tough fight ahead, and another day of hearings tomorrow."

Despite two long days of hearings, Hatch apparently had not spent enough time with Thomas on Saturday. After the hearings ended, he said he was taking Thomas, his wife and Thomas' friend Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., to dinner.