Kavanaugh accuser demands Federal Bureau of Investigation probe before testifying
- Author: Leroy Wright Sep 19, 2018,
Sep 19, 2018, 12:25
I hope Ford can also count on Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Mazie Hirono, who were all aggressive in questioning Kavanaugh in the first round of hearings. It also sets up a public, televised airing of sexual misconduct allegations, reminiscent of the seminal hearings against Clarence Thomas in 1991, that could derail Kavanaugh's nomination altogether.
Meanwhile, Ford's lawyer has said she would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Kavanaugh vote (while senators say they're still waiting for her to confirm), subjecting herself to scrutiny regarding an interaction that left an impact on her life, if not traumatized her.
The White House appeared eager to resolve the matter quickly.
"There must be an agreement on witnesses, and the FBI should be given time to reopen its background check investigation into Judge Kavanaugh", Schumer said.
Grassley said the hearing would be televised and would include just two witnesses, Ford and Kavanaugh.
Pressure on Senate Republicans to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation process intensified after Ford came forward on Sunday. Sen. "I guess we've invited everybody", Trump said during a joint press conference with the President of Poland on Tuesday. (Same with Kavanaugh, of course.) If so much as one Republican gets aggressive with her, Democrats will mine it for "war on women" attack ads for weeks. On Monday, his spokesman, Bill Russo, said Biden "believes Professor Ford deserves a fair and respectful hearing of her allegations, and that the Committee should undertake a thorough and non-partisan effort to get to the truth, wherever it leads". The allegation does not involve any potential federal crime. One possibility is that Democrats planned from the start to spring Ford's accusation at the last moment, to maximize the element of surprise, and Feinstein played it close to the vest because that's what a good ambush requires.
Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced last Thursday in the Washington Post that he would vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation.
But Grassley told a radio interviewer on Tuesday that Ford's lack of response so far "kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not".
Democrats have said they wanted more time for the FBI to investigate - and more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what would turn into merely a "he-said-she-said" moment.
It seems very similar except, because of the Anita Hill experience, I think even the senators who are slow learners focus on the fact they better not say she can't even show up.
She has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her and trying to remove her clothing while he was drunk at a suburban Maryland party in 1982 when they were both high school students, allegations Kavanaugh has called "completely false". Murkowski said it would be a "a very interesting and unfortunate turn of events".
Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is a member of the Judiciary committee, told the Washington Post that if a hearing takes place before an investigation, "the committee is going to be shooting in the dark with questions".
Trump blamed Democrats for the delay weeks before the US midterm congressional elections on November 6, but he said there was enough time to get his pick confirmed before the elections. Without Kennedy on the court, the justices are split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusation. Ford believes Kavanaugh's alleged actions were "attempted rape" and "that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped", Katz told NBC's "Today" program.
While that's the biggest problem with the Wall Street Journal editorial on Ford and Kavanaugh, it's not the only one.
Banks said Ford struggled "mightily" with the decision to alert lawmakers to the alleged incident.
"There's a difference between making a mistake and having it be your character", says Cleta Mitchell, a Republican election attorney based in Washington, D.C., and a supporter of Kavanaugh.