Joe Biden Expresses Regret to Anita Hill, but She Says ‘I’m Sorry’ Is Not Enough

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She said that in the days leading up to the hearing, he called her and told her that she would testify first, but that after “behind-the-scenes negotiations with Republicans,” then-Judge Thomas went first, and “was able to offer a rebuttal before I had ever said a word.”

Ms. Hill was asked if she felt Mr. Biden had lied to her. “I leave you to say whether he lied or not,” she said. “What he told me turned out not to be the case. If you want to call that lying, that’s fine. I think, at the very least, I would say it was misleading.”

She said she also faults Mr. Biden for letting the hearings get out of control — “The process went completely off track” — and for failing to restrain Republicans like former Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who brandished a copy of “The Exorcist” during the hearings, and former Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri, who while advising Judge Thomas enlisted the help of a forensic psychiatrist who suggested Ms. Hill suffered from “erotomania.”

In an interview, Mr. Danforth said there needs to be a standard process for handling accusations such as those made by Ms. Hill and Christine Blasey Ford, who testified against Justice Kavanaugh. Of Mr. Biden, he said: “I think that he did the best he could under the circumstances, attempting to preside over a proceeding where there was no real process at all. It was like being the referee of a food fight.”

The public was expecting “the process to have integrity,” Ms. Hill said, especially for a position on the highest court in the land. “And what happened was that the process went completely off track, it was not managed well, there was no transparency — there was no clarity as to what information was being shared.”

She said she would like sexual harassment and gender violence to be elevated as issues during the Democratic presidential primary, and wants to hear what all of the candidates — including Mr. Biden — will do about it.

Whoever Democrats choose as their nominee must be able to distinguish himself or herself from Mr. Trump on these issues, Ms. Hill said. But given his history, she was asked, does she think it will be difficult for Mr. Biden to do that?

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m willing to give him the chance. And I hope he will step up.”

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