Collins wants Kavanaugh, accuser to testify
© Greg Nash
GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable GOP braces for impeachment brawl Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria 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 MurkowskiGOP braces for impeachment brawl Murkowski warns against rushing to conclusions on Trump impeachment GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE (R-Alaska) also remains undecided. And GOP Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHow to survive an impeachment Are Senate Republicans certain that Trump can return to office? Jeff Flake calls Trump's language 'authoritarian' MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGeorge Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia 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 HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Ind.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Fallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later 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.