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 CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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 FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers 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 GrahamUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain 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 GrassleyScandal in Puerto Rico threatens chance at statehood Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrat: Treasury 'acknowledged the unprecedented process' in Trump tax return rejection 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 SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US 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 FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei 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.