Murkowski: Committee ‘might’ need to consider delaying Kavanaugh vote

Anna Moneymaker
GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) says the Judiciary Committee “might” need to consider delaying a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a woman accusing him of sexual assault spoke publicly for the first time about the allegation. 


“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” Murkowski told CNN late Sunday night asked if the Judiciary Committee should delay a vote on Kavanaugh. 


“This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response. That may be something the committee needs to look into,” Murkowski continued. 

{mosads}The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Murkowski is not a member of, is currently scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday. 
Republicans hold a majority on the committee and, if they could stick together, could report Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor favorably this week without help from Democrats. 
But several GOP senators have indicated they are open to hearing from Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, after she discussed the alleged incident with The Washington Post in a story published on Sunday. 
GOP Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), two vocal Trump critics who are retiring after 2018, both indicated they believe the Judiciary Committee should wait to hear from Ford before moving forward. 
Ford told the Post that during a party in the early 1980s Kavanaugh “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.”
Kavanaugh has denied the alleged incident, which Ford says took place when they were both in high school. 
Murkowski is one of a handful of moderate undecided senators whose decision on Kavanaugh will determine if, and when, he is confirmed. 
Democrats need to win over two GOP senators and keep their own caucus united if they want to block Kavanaugh. 
A growing number of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), want a vote on Kavanaugh to be postponed so the allegation can be investigated. 
But a spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee chairman, said they are working to set up staff calls with Kavanaugh and Ford ahead of the Thursday vote, which has not been canceled or rescheduled. 
Tags Bob Corker Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Jeff Flake Lisa Murkowski Senate Republicans sexual assault allegations Supreme Court nomination Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh
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