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 BidenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite 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 FeinsteinTrump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death Juan Williams: We need a backlash against Big Tech 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 GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels 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 warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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 FlakeArpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress 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.