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Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing

Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing
© Greg Nash

A spokesperson for Joe Biden said Monday that the former vice president believes the Senate Judiciary Committee should delay its scheduled vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow for a congressional hearing with the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University in California, went public with her accusation over the weekend. The Judiciary Committee is slated to vote Thursday on whether to send Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

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"Vice President BidenJoe BidenExpanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back MORE believes Professor Ford deserves a fair and respectful hearing of her allegations, and that the Committee should undertake a thorough and non-partisan effort to get to the truth, wherever it leads," Biden's spokesperson said in a statement. "He believes the vote should be postponed to allow this to happen appropriately, because this is an appointment for life to the nation's highest court and getting the decision right is more important than getting it done on a rushed timeline."

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinYouth climate activists march outside California homes of Pelosi and Feinstein Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, announced last week that she had passed along to investigators information of the alleged incident from an individual who at the time did not want to be named.

Ford told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to remove her clothes in the early 1980s when both of them were minors in high school. She said he "groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it."

Kavanaugh has denied the accusations against him.

Democrats are calling for the committee vote to be delayed, saying Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh are credible and that investigators need to pursue the matter.

Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections MORE (R-Iowa), released a statement to the Post saying it was "disturbing" that "uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago, during high school, would surface on the eve of the committee vote."

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden to host Afghan president at White House on Friday Portman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (R-S.C.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he agreed with Grassley "about the substance and process regarding the allegations."

Graham maintained that the confirmation vote should continue as scheduled, but that he would "gladly listen to what [Ford] has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh."

Another member of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (R-Ariz.), said Sunday that he thought the panel should delay the vote until they had more information about the allegations.

"For me, we can't vote until we hear more," Flake told the Post.

Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1991 when Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas, who at the time was a Supreme Court nominee. Biden was a senator from Delaware when he voted against Thomas, and he said last year that he regretted not defending Hill more from "attacks on her by some of my Republican friends."

Updated at 11:20 a.m.