Collins wants Kavanaugh, accuser to testify
© Greg Nash
GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump GOP senator: 'No problem' with Mueller testifying The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? MORE (Maine) says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, should both testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
"Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee," Collins said in a tweet on Monday
The remarks from Collins are important because she may be the key to Kavanaugh's confirmation in a 51-49 Senate held by Republicans. 
Her call for hearings would make them even more difficult to avoid if Kavanaugh's nomination proceeds.
A growing number of Republican senators have said that they want to hear from Ford, whose accusations against Kavanaugh were detailed publicly for the first time on Sunday in a story published by The Washington Post.  
Ford says Kavanaugh held her down on a bed and attempted to take her clothes off during a party when both were high school students in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
Asked about delaying the hearing on Sunday night, she told CNN that she would discuss the issue with her colleagues. 
Collins is one of a handful of moderate senators, on both sides of the aisle, who have yet to say how they will vote on Kavanaugh. Republicans can only afford to lose one GOP senator before they would need to lean on Democrats to help get Kavanaugh confirmed. 
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed License to discriminate: Religious exemption laws are trampling rights in rural America MORE (R-Alaska) also remains undecided. And GOP Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump Democrats introduce bill to rein in Trump on tariffs MORE (Tenn.), both of whom are retiring after this Congress, have called on senators to talk to Ford before moving forward with a committee vote. 
Democratic Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySome in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Pro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections MORE (W.Va.) were considered potential swing votes on Kavanaugh before the sexual misconduct allegation first surfaced last week. 
But they are under new pressure to call on Kavanaugh's vote to be delayed in the wake of Ford's Washington Post interview.