Corker: Kavanaugh accuser should be heard out before panel votes

Corker: Kavanaugh accuser should be heard out before panel votes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) called for the vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to be postponed until the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct is allowed to speak with senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Corker, who doesn't sit on the committee, told Politico on Sunday that the panel should wait until Christine Blasey Ford can meet with senators.

"I think that would be best for all involved, including the nominee,” Corker said of postponing the vote.

If Ford wants her side of the story to be heard, Corker said, “she should do so promptly.”

Corker’s remarks echo those of his fellow Republican colleague Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (Ariz.).

Flake, who is a member of the committee, said Sunday that he is “not comfortable voting yes” until he hears from Ford.

"And I don't think I'm alone in this,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamNorth Dakota Republican latest House breakthrough COVID-19 case Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case Graham told Trump he 'f'd up' the presidency: book MORE (R-S.C.) said he was skeptical about the timing of the new allegations against Kavanaugh but expressed a willingness to hear from Ford.

"If Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh," Graham said in a statement.

"If the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford, it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled," added Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley announces reelection bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (R-Iowa) said he is working to set up separate phone calls with Kavanaugh and Ford before the vote.

"Given the late addendum to the background file and revelations of Dr. Ford’s identity, Chairman Grassley is actively working to set up such follow-up calls with Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford ahead of Thursday’s scheduled vote," a spokesman for Grassley said on Sunday. 

Several Democratic members of the committee, as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAnti-Trump Republicans on the line in 2022 too Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol MORE (D-N.Y.) have called on the Senate to postpone the vote, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

“I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFederal watchdog calls on Congress, Energy Dept. to overhaul nuclear waste storage process Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam Republicans caught in California's recall trap MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, said Sunday. 

Ford, California psychology professor, spoke to The Washington Post on Sunday and detailed her allegations against Kavanaugh for the first time publicly.

The now 51-year-old professor at Palo Alto University in California described an incident between her and Kavanaugh when the pair were in high school.

She said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed one summer in the 1980s, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes.

Kavanaugh denied the allegation "categorically and unequivocally" on Friday.