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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 CorkerLawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death Corker calls for 'collective' response from Western countries if Saudi crown prince found responsible in Khashoggi's death The Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia 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 FlakeTrump boosts McSally, bashes Sinema in Arizona Watch live: Trump speaks at Arizona rally Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi disappearance 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.

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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death The Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Trump should stick to his guns and close failed South Carolina nuclear MOX project 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 GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October 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 SchumerManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' 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 FeinsteinDurbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue GOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks 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.