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 CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 GrahamGraham: Report on alleged surveillance abuse in 2016 to be released Dec. 9 McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures 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 FeinsteinGOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act Congress feels heat to act on youth vaping GOP senator wants Violence Against Women Act passage by year end 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.