Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify

Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks MORE (R-Alaska) said Monday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, should both testify.

"Despite the length of time since the alleged incident, Dr. Ford's allegations should be heard and she must have an opportunity to present her story before the committee under oath, with Judge Kavanaugh having the opportunity to respond under oath as well," Murkowski said in a statement Monday.

"Allegations surrounding sexual assault must be taken seriously and the Judiciary Committee must look into this further," she said.

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Murkowski echoed Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration DOJ warns White House that national emergency will likely be blocked: report On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration MORE's (R-Maine) call earlier Monday for both parties to testify about the allegations under oath. 

Murkowski had said Sunday night that the Judiciary Committee "might" have to consider delaying the vote to confirm Kavanaugh, which was set for Thursday afternoon.

The vote's schedule has become uncertain after Ford went public with allegations that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to remove her clothes at a party in the early 1980s.

A variety of Republican Senators have suggested that the committee should dig into the allegations before they vote. 

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration The border deal: What made it in, what got left out Contractor back pay not included in shutdown deal MORE (R-Mo.) was the first to broach the idea from the GOP on Monday.

Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (Tenn.) also both called for the confirmation hearing not to proceed to a vote until senators talk to Ford.  

Both Kavanaugh and a lawyer for Ford have said the two parties are willing to testify before the committee. 

Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (R-Iowa) has resisted delaying the vote and is instead attempting to set up a call with Ford and Kavanaugh. 

Grassley has said that Democrats are refusing to take part in the call thus far. 

Republicans have criticized Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (D-Calif.) for only bringing the allegations forward one week before the scheduled vote on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement Monday that the Democrats waited "until the 11th hour."

"They did not raise it in the closed session, the proper forum where such an allegation could have been addressed with discretion and sensitivity," McConnell said.

Neither Collins nor Murkowski have said how they will vote regarding Kavanaugh's confirmation.