The Latest: Feinstein rejects follow-up calls on Kavanaugh
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and an allegation of sexual misconduct against him (all times local):
President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is in turmoil after the woman accusing him of high school-era sexual misconduct told her story publicly for the first time.
Democrats are calling for a delay in a key committee vote set for Thursday. And a Republican on the panel, Arizona’s Jeff Flake, says he’s “not comfortable” voting on the nomination without first hearing from the accuser.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa is trying to arrange separate, follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford before the vote, but just for aides to top members.
The panel’s ranking Democrat, California’s Dianne Feinstein, is rejecting that plan, saying there’s more that senators don’t know.
A Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he’s “not comfortable” voting in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court until he learns more about the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh dating to when he was in high school.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake tells Politico and The Washington Post in interviews Sunday that the closely divided committee needs to hear from Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Ford told her story to The Washington Post in a piece published Sunday. Kavanaugh denies her allegations.
Flake is one of 11 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, which has scheduled a Thursday vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
But the nomination’s prospects would become complicated without Flake’s support, given that the 10 Democrats on the panel oppose his nomination.
The GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to set up a call with the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and the top Republican and Democratic members of the panel.
A spokesman says Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is “actively working” to set up a call with the woman and with Kavanaugh ahead of Thursday’s scheduled committee vote.
Spokesman Taylor Foy says Grassley and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, routinely hold such “bipartisan staff calls” when updates are made to a nominee’s background file.
The FBI last week updated Kavanaugh’s file after the allegation from his high school years was made public.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, has since discussed her accusation in an interview with The Washington Post. Kavanaugh has denied it.
A Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, says he’s willing to hear from the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while in high school.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, discussed her accusation in an interview with The Washington Post. Kavanaugh has denied it.
The South Carolina senator says if the panel is going to hear from Ford, “it should be done immediately” so the confirmation process can continue as scheduled.
A committee vote is scheduled for Thursday, but several key Democrats have said it should be postponed.
Graham says he would “gladly listen to what she has to say” and compare it “against all the other information” the committee has considered about Kavanaugh.
A House Democrat from California says she’s “grateful” the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school has the courage to tell her story.
The woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, discussed her accusation in an interview with The Washington Post. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
Her congresswoman, Democrat Anna Eshoo, says in a statement Sunday that she’s proud of her constituent for “the courage she has displayed to come forward.”
Eshoo says that in weighing privacy concerns, the woman “has demonstrated her willingness to risk these factors to present the truth.”
Eshoo’s statement doesn’t refer to Ford by name. Ford tells the Post that she sent a letter about Kavanaugh to Sen. Dianne Feinstein via Eshoo’s office. Feinstein is the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have given no indication they plan to delay Thursday’s vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid an allegation of sexual misconduct from when he was in high school.
A spokesman for Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Sunday that “it’s disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago” would surface ahead of voting.
Spokesman Taylor Foy had no new information about the committee’s planned vote. He says Kavanaugh already went through several days of hearings and was vetted by the FBI. He says the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, should have brought the matter to the panel earlier.
He says, “It raises a lot of questions about Democrats’ tactics and motives.”
Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
The Senate’s Democratic leader says the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee must postpone a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination now that a woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct decades ago has told her story to The Washington Post.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that postponement is warranted until what he calls “serious and credible allegations” are thoroughly investigated. Kavanaugh has denied the accusations.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has scheduled a Thursday vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Schumer says that women making serious allegations of abuse have been ignored for too long.
Schumer says Kavanaugh’s credibility on other issues has been questioned. He says that to “railroad a vote now” would insult the women of America and the integrity of the Supreme Court.
The senator who received a letter from a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers says she supports the woman’s decision to tell her story publicly.
Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also says the FBI should investigate now that Christine Blasey Ford has spoken to The Washington Post in an article posted Sunday. Feinstein says the investigation should occur before the Senate moves ahead with Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote Thursday on whether to recommend that the full Senate confirm him to a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court.
Feinstein says she believed from the outset that the allegations were “extremely serious” and “bear heavily” on Kavanaugh’s character.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers has come forward to The Washington Post.
California professor Christine Blasey Ford tells the newspaper that Kavanaugh and a friend corralled her in a bedroom during a gathering at a house in Maryland in the early 1980s. She says that both boys were “stumbling drunk” and that the friend watched as Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and clumsily tried to pull off her clothes.
She says she tried to scream and Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.
Ford says she escaped when Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of them and they tumbled.
The now-53-year-old Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
Ford says she didn’t reveal what happened until 2012 during couples therapy with her husband.
A Democratic senator says an anonymous allegation of sexual misconduct this late in the process is unlikely to derail Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
But Doug Jones of Alabama says there’s time for lawmakers to investigate. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the nomination Thursday.
Kavanaugh has denied an allegation of sexual misconduct dating to when he was in high school. The New Yorker magazine reported that the alleged incident took place at a party when the now 53-year-old Kavanaugh attended private school in Maryland. The woman making the allegation attended a nearby school.
The Associated Press has not confirmed The New Yorker’s account. The New Yorker did not name the woman.
Jones says he wishes the matter had been raised earlier.