Top Senate Dem: Public hearing is ‘only way to go’ for Kavanaugh accuser

Top Senate Dem: Public hearing is ‘only way to go’ for Kavanaugh accuser
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial MORE (D-Ill.) on Monday said he believes a public hearing is the "only way to go" for the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. 

"[Sen.] Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Horowitz did not find evidence Obama asked for probe of Trump MORE (R-Iowa), the Senate Republicans and others have to make sure the American people believe that everyone’s being treated fairly," Durbin said on CNN's "New Day."

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"Rushing this through is not treating someone fairly, doing this in a conference call as opposed to her offer to come forward and say things publicly, is certainly not fair," he added.

Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said he thinks the accusation against Kavanaugh has a "ring of truth to it." 

Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, on Sunday publicly accused Kavanaugh of groping her and attempting to remove her clothes while he pinned her down on a bed during a party in the 1980s. The pair were attending neighboring D.C.-area high schools at the time.

Ford is alleging the incident caused her decades of emotional trauma. She provided notes to The Washington Post from therapy sessions in which she describes an account that matches her allegations against Kavanaugh. 

"I can tell you it really does have a ring of truth to it," Durbin said. "The fact that she can refer to therapist’s notes, so that she did bring it up before. So I’d say at this point, the fact that she would come forward to defend herself adds credibility to her charge." 

Multiple top Democrats and several Republicans have since called to postpone the Thursday vote on Kavanaugh. 

"The Senate is in control of the Republicans," Durbin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday morning. "If they look like they’re being unfair to Dr. Ford at this point, it’s going to create a backlash."