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Monday, December 17, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

UPDATE: On Monday evening, Republican Senate leaders and Judiciary Committee chair Charles Grassley (R-IA) agreed to hear both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford in sworn testimony next week.

The prospect of elevating a man accused of attempted rape to the highest court in the land is giving some Republicans pause.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt became the fourth Senate Republican to publicly call on his colleagues to fully investigate allegations against Kavanaugh before moving forward with the confirmation process.

“These are serious allegations that need to be looked at closely by the committee before any other action is taken,” Blunt said Monday afternoon.

Blunt is referring to allegations from  Ford, a 51-year-old professor and research psychologist, who told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were both in high school.

“While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it,” the Post reported. “When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.”

The 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter to committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), asking that he delay the committee vote on Kavanaugh, currently scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20.

“There are serious questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s record, truthfulness, and character,” says the letter, spearheaded by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “All Senators, regardless of party, should insist the FBI perform its due diligence and fully investigate the allegations as part of its review of Judge Kavanaugh’s background,” the letter continued, laying out the reasons to delay the vote.

On the Republican side of the aisle, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is the only member of the Judiciary Committee to call for a delay to give senators more time to look into the allegations.

Flake and Blunt are joined by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in calling for a delay.

Kavanaugh’s nomination is already under a cloud of suspicion because the man who nominated him, Trump, has been accused by his own lawyer, Michael Cohen, of being involved in multiple federal crimes.

More than 20 women have accused Trump of sexual assault — something he bragged about in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that was released in 2016.

He has now nominated a man for the highest court in the land who also faces accusations of sexual assault. The White House is standing by Kavanaugh and reportedly planning to attack Ford.

Trump reliably defends nominees accused of sexual assault. In addition to his own candidacy, Trump refused to abandon Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama who was credibly accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Republicans have been trying to rush through Kavanaugh’s confirmation, despite numerous questions about his radical views and his record. Now, though, a handful of Republicans recognize the need to at least postpone a vote, given the seriousness of the allegation against Kavanaugh.

Of 51 Republican senators, only four so far are willing to acknowledge and fulfill their duty to thoroughly vet Kavanaugh before giving him a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. The others remain determined to support Kavanaugh, no matter what’s in his record.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

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