Thomas-Hill disputes

October 11, 1991|By Cox News Service

The record on nine factual disputes on the credibility of Clarence Thomas and his accuser, Anita F. Hill:

1. Did Judge Thomas ask Ms. Hill for a date in 1981?

Ms. Hill's version: Judge Thomas asked her out socially and he refused to accept her explanation that it was inappropriate to go out with the boss. (National Public Radio, Oct. 6)

What Judge Thomas may have told the FBI: Unnamed congressional sources have been quoted as saying that Judge Thomas acknowledged asking Ms. Hill out for a date, but that he said he dropped the matter when she declined. (NPR, Oct. 6, and New York Times, Oct. 10)

Judge Thomas to Senators: Judge Thomas "denied that he had ever asked her for a date." (Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., McNeil-Lehrer, Oct. 7)

2. Did Judge Thomas discuss pornography with Ms. Hill in 1981?

Ms. Hill: "He [Judge Thomas] spoke about acts he had seen in pornographic films involving such things as women having sex with animals and films involving group sex or rape scenes." (NPR, quoting unpublished Hill affidavit, Oct. 6)

Thomas defender: "He says . . . that none of the alleged salacious expressions were made by him to her." (Sen. John C. Danforth, R-Mo., press conference, Oct. 7)

3. If Ms. Hill was sexually harassed, why did she follow Mr. Thomas from the Education Department to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1982?

Ms. Hill: "If I quit, I would have been jobless. I had not built a resume such that I could have expected to go out and get a job. And you'll recall that in the early '80s, there was a hiring freeze in the federal government. (Press conference, Oct. 7)

Thomas defender: There was "no rational reason for her not to believe that she could have stayed" at the Education Department. When Mr. Thomas asked her to follow him to EEOC, "she was excited, flattered and gushing with enthusiasm about continuing to work with Clarence Thomas." (Andrew S. Fishel, who worked with both Ms. Hill and Judge Thomas at both the Education Department and the EEOC, New York Times interview, Oct. 9)

4. Did Ms. Hill know co-worker Phyllis Berry while they were both at the EEOC?

Thomas defender: Ms. Berry, who says she worked with both Ms. Hill and Judge Thomas as congressional liaison officer for the EEOC, told a reporter that Ms. Hill's allegations resulted from her disappointment and frustration that Judge Thomas had shown no sexual interest in her. (New York Times, Oct. 7)

Ms. Hill: "Well, I don't know Phyllis Berry and she doesn't know me, and so I don't have anything else to say to that." (Press conference, Oct. 7)

5. How did Ms. Hill get her first legal teaching job at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma after leaving the EEOC in 1983?

Ms. Hill: "I interviewed for that job. And at that time, after the interview took place, after I had been assured that I would get the job, I went to him [Judge Thomas] and said, 'Would you write a recommendation?' And that came only because the process at Oral Roberts University required some kind of letter from a former employer." (Press conference, Oct. 7)

Thomas defender: Charles Kothe, then dean of the law school, said Judge Thomas played a more important part in her hiring than she has acknowledged. Mr. Kothe said he first met Ms. Hill when she accompanied Judge Thomas to Tulsa, Okla., so he could hold a seminar as EEOC chairman. (New York Times, Oct. 9)

6. Did Ms. Hill voluntarily stay in touch with Judge Thomas after the alleged sexual harassment, and if so, why?

Thomas defender: Handwritten phone logs kept in Judge Thomas' office show 11 calls received from Ms. Hill between 1983 and 1990. "Needs your advice in getting research grants," a secretary noted in an Aug. 29, 1984, entry. Another entry said "wanted to congratulate you on marriage." (Logs released by Senator Danforth, Oct. 8)

Ms. Hill: "If there are messages to him from me, these are attempts to return calls. . . . I never called him to say hello. I found out about his marriage through a third party. I never called to congratulate him." (Washington Post interview, Oct. 9)

7. Did Ms. Hill call Judge Thomas in 1990 and ask him to make a speech at the University of Oklahoma?

Thomas defender: Judge Thomas says Ms. Hill telephoned him in November 1990, they chatted for 10 to 15 minutes, and she asked him if he would be receptive to an invitation to speak at the University of Oklahoma Law School. (Senator Danforth press conference, Oct. 7)

Ms. Hill: "No, I did not invite him. The enrichment committee sent an official letter to him inviting him. The chairman of that committee came to me and said would you follow up to see, make sure he's got that letter and that he's going to pay some attention to it. At that time, I stated very clearly to the chairman of the committee that I did not want him to come here. And I, however, did make a phone call. . . ." (Press conference, Oct. 7)

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