President Trump said Monday that he believes Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is not in danger, despite an allegation that he sexually assaulted a young woman at a high school party in the 1980s.
“We want to go through a full process … and hear everybody out,” the president told reporters Monday. “If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay. Shouldn’t be much delay. I’m sure it will work out very well.”
Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post on the record Sunday about an alleged incident between herself and Kavanaugh during a high school party in the early 1980s. Ford claimed Kavanaugh held her on her back on a bed during a house party in Maryland. She accused Kavanaugh of groping her and said he tried to undress her. She said she was able to escape only after a friend jumped on them.
Trump said Kavanaugh is “one of the great intellects and one of the finest people” and does not even have a “blemish on his record.”
The allegations immediately caused Democrats and some Republican senators to call for an investigation, or public testimony from both Ford and Kavanaugh, before having a final vote on his confirmation.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called on Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley Monday to let both Kavanaugh and Ford testify under oath before the committee before the Senate votes on Kavanaugh’s nomination. That request could delay GOP plans to confirm Kavanaugh in the committee this week.
One of the 11 Republican members of the committee, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has also said the committee needs to hear Ford out before a vote.
“If they push forward without any attempt with hearing what she’s had to say, I’m not comfortable voting yes,” Flake told Politico. “We need to hear from her. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are asking that this week’s Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn. Democrats also want to have a new hearing in light of Ford’s allegations.
Trump said he wishes “Democrats could have done this a lot sooner,” but added that his administration is committed to “go through the process” of hearing all parties out.
Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, said Monday that her client would testify before the committee. Kavanaugh has said he is willing to testify and answer any questions the senators on the committee might have. Kavanaugh was spotted at the White House Monday morning. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner as to why Kavanaugh was on location.
“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” he said in his statement.
Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations, calling them patently “false.”
“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
Kavanaugh has reportedly hired Washington trial lawyer Beth Wilkinson to support him in the wake of allegations.