Former White House chief of staff: Biden was ‘confused’ when leading Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings

(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

KINGSTON, New Hampshire — Joe Biden was “confused” as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, vacillating on whether to give accuser Anita Hill a public hearing or not, said John Sununu, White House chief of staff for President George H.W. Bush.

Sununu recalled the episode in a Saturday interview, saying Biden, the future vice president under President Barack Obama and now a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was “relatively useless” during the October 1991 events. Thomas, nominated by Bush for an open Supreme Court seat, faced sexual harassment allegations against Thomas from University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill, who had worked with him at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Thomas denied the allegations when Hill brought them before the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling the lawmakers’ questions about him a “high tech lynching.”

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