Susan Hoerchner Interview

Complete transcript of Susan Hoerchner’s interview with Judiciary Committee staff – October 10, 1991.  Susan Hoerchner was a friend of Anita Hill, whom Hill allegedly told about Clarence Thomas’ inappropriate conduct at the time it occurred. In an initial call with the Committee staff, she placed the one telephone conversation she had with Hill on this topic in the spring of 1981, and in this in-person interview reiterated that the call happened before September 1981, when she moved away to care for her ailing father. She had very little contact with Hill after that. However, Hill did not even work for Thomas until late August and in her own testimony claimed that the harassment did not start until several months after that – somewhere in November or December 1981. Thus, left unchanged, Hoerchner’s testimony would be fatal to Hill’s allegations.

Perhaps more shocking than the fact that Hill’s star witness totally destroyed the timeline of the purported misconduct is the apparent attempt to cover up that mistake. Note the references to Hoerchner placing the call before September 1981 on pages 4, 7-8, and 22 and 23. Initially, the Democratic counsel is trying to push her into changing her answer. Then, on page 23, Anita Hill’s lawyer (Janet Napolitano) asks for a break in the interview to confer privately with Hoerchner. Only after that conference did Hoerchner change her story. When Republican counsel raised concerns about allowing Hill’s attorney to privately meet with Hoerchner, Democratic counsel tried to ‎mischaracterize what happened.  The Committee later sealed this interview, preventing the public from learning the truth until now. From the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections – Strom Thurmond Collection, Judiciary Committee Records