One Senate Republican on the judiciary committee is now saying the upcoming vote to send Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full senate should be put on hold until he can hear directly from his accuser.
On Sunday, Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) told Washington Post congressional reporter Sean Sullivan that the committee’s previously scheduled confirmation vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh should wait until the committee has had a chance to hear directly from Christine Blasey Ford — who has publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when the two were in high school. As of this writing, Flake is the first Senate Republican to declare the vote should be postponed.
NEWS: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tells me in an intv he that doesn’t think the Judiciary Cmte should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until they hear more from Christine Blasey Ford. “For me, we can’t vote until we hear more.”
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) September 16, 2018
In addition to Flake, another Senate Republican is also expressing interest in hearing from Ford. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) — who is also a member of the committee — made it clear in a statement issued Sunday that he wanted to hear directly from Ford. However, Sen. Graham made no mention of wanting to postpone Thursday’s scheduled confirmation vote.
“[I]f Ms. Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she had to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh,” Graham stated. “If the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled.”
My statement on Judge Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/QGz3uUyzC9
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 16, 2018
Ford, who is a professor at Palo Alto University in Northern California, came out publicly with her allegations on Sunday despite previously deciding to remain anonymous. Ford detailed the accusation against Kavanaugh in a letter sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who is the top Democrat on the judiciary committee. The professor told the Post that the doubt cast on her allegations helped compel her to come forward publicly.
“I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” Ford said.
Sen. Feinstein did not share the letter with her colleagues despite receiving it months ago, choosing instead to make Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings centered on legal issues, rather than the sexual assault allegations. California state senator Kevin de Leon — who is running against Feinstein in November — criticized her decision to keep the letter from her colleagues.
“The American people deserve to know why the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee waited nearly three months to hand this disqualifying document over to the federal authorities and why Sen. Feinstein politely pantomimed her way through last week’s hearing without a single question about the content of Kavanaugh’s character,” de Leon said in a statement on Friday.
The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim tweeted Sunday evening that Sen. Feinstein and judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were working to schedule follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford prior to Thursday’s vote.
NEWS — Grassley and Feinstein jointly working on scheduling follow up calls with both Kavanaugh and Ford, per spox pic.twitter.com/71PYAU9OqQ
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) September 16, 2018
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.