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Democrats Push Back on Republicans’ Plan to Hold Hearing With Brett Kavanaugh & Christine Blasey Ford, Say There Need to Be More Witnesses

Another rush job.
Chuck Grassley, Dianne Feinstein, Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford

Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein.

The decision by Republicans to hold a public hearing into the sexual assault accusation regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has Democrats crying foul now that Republicans have indicated only Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the Stanford University professor who accused him of assaulting her in the 1980s, will be present. Democrats said they need to hear from a Kavanaugh classmate who Ford said was present during the attack and that the FBI needs to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh to investigate Ford’s allegation and interview possible witnesses.

“What about individuals who were previously told about this incident? What about experts who can speak to the effects of this kind of trauma on a victim?” said top Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein (CA), who wants to hear from Kavanaugh’s classmate, Mark Judge, who Ford said was present during the alleged assault. Feinstein further accused Republicans of trying to “rush” the nomination process.

“What about individuals who were previously told about this incident? What about experts who can speak to the effects of this kind of trauma on a victim?” said Feinstein.

Referencing the Supreme Court confirmation hearing in which Justice Clarence Thomas was accused of sexually harassing Anita Hill when he was her supervisor at the United States Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Feinstein said: “Compare that to the 22 witnesses at the 1991 Anita Hill hearing and it’s impossible to take this process seriously.”

Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator from Illinois, concurred, saying Mark Judge is “identified specifically as an eyewitness” and should testify.

“His simple denial is not the end of the questioning,” Durbin told reporters. “If he appears under oath there are questions that will be asked, I am sure.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also doubled down on the call for the FBI to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh. In a series of tweets, Schumer said the White House “has intentionally chosen to bury its head in the sand and make weak excuses” for a nominee President Donald Trump has thrown his full support behind.

Indeed, President Trump said he remains “totally supportive” of Kavanaugh, and believes, although he hasn’t spoken with him personally about the accusation, that “he can handle himself better than anybody, he’s a very outstanding guy.”

Trump further stressed that the FBI should not investigate the matter.

“I don’t think the FBI should be involved because they don’t want to be involved, if they wanted to be I would certainly do that,” Trump said. “This is not really their thing. The senators will do a good job.”

Nevertheless, many have joined the call for a fair(er) hearing. Among them: Senator Kamala Harris, who also cited the Anita Hill hearing and said “it is imperative that we hear from the other witnesses.”

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