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 BidenJoe BidenTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Joe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary MORE 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 Biden 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 FeinsteinBottom line Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats Senate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump says GOP 'flexible' on convention plans Overnight Defense: House Dems offer M for Army to rename bases | Bill takes aim at money for Trump's border wall | Suspect in custody after shooting at Marine training facility  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 GrahamGraham challenger Harrison raises record-shattering .9 million for SC Senate bid Trump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge Bubba Wallace responds to Trump: 'Even when it's HATE from the POTUS.. Love wins' 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 FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism 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.