After Republicans tried to shoehorn a non-public investigation of Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh before a vote scheduled for Thursday, multiple reports Monday indicated there will be a public hearing.
Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told an NBC News reporter that the hearing is on.
And GOP committee member Orrin Hatch also said as much to a Washington Post reporter:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and President Trump stated earlier Monday they both are open to listening to Ford’s accusation, somehow. Grassley’s most recent statement said he was “working on a way to hear [Ford] out in an appropriate, precedented, and respectful manner.” He said he was working to arrange phone calls with Ford and Kavanaugh but that his counterpart on the committee, Dianne Feinstein, had so far “refused” to participate in them. Trump said at the White House that it was a “ridiculous question” to ask if Kavanaugh would withdraw himself from the nomination, but Trump said, “if it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay.”
Kavanaugh signaled his cooperation to a hearing, according to a White House statement Monday afternoon: “Judge Kavanaugh looks forward to a hearing where he can clear his name of this false allegation. He stands ready to testify tomorrow if the Senate is ready to hear him.” Ford, through her lawyer, also said she would be willing to speak before the Senate.
While Grassley did not explicitly rule out new, public hearings, he has not mentioned them either. Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Republican who is seen as a crucial vote for Kavanaugh, said she would like to see a hearing: “I believe in order for me to assess the credibility of these allegations that I want to have both individuals come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testify under oath,” she told reporters Monday at the Capitol. “Obviously if Judge Kavanaugh has lied about what happened, that would be disqualifying.”
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