Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify

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

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate advances Trump energy pick after Manchin flips The Senate must reject Bernard McNamee’s nomination for FERC Overnight Defense: Congress pauses to mourn George H.W. Bush | Haspel to brief senators on Khashoggi killing | Soldier is fourth to die from Afghan IED blast 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 CollinsSenators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe 5 themes to watch for in 2020 fight for House Judd Gregg: The last woman standing 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 BluntNRCC breach exposes gaps 2 years after Russia hacks Senate panel advances Trump nominees for election agency Senate Republican: 'Big mistake' if Cohen lied to intelligence committee MORE (R-Mo.) was the first to broach the idea from the GOP on Monday.

Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake: Republican Party ‘is a frog slowly boiling in water’ Tim Scott: Stop giving court picks with 'questionable track records on race' a Senate vote Flake stands firm on sending a ‘message to the White House’ on Mueller MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCongress digs in for prolonged Saudi battle US-Saudi relationship enters uncharted territory Senate edges closer to rebuking Trump on Saudi Arabia 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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower House set to vote on bill cracking down on drug companies overcharging Medicaid Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform 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 FeinsteinFocus on Yemen, not the Saudi crown prince Senators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Mattis: Investigation into killing of Khashoggi is ongoing MORE (D-Calif.) for only bringing the allegations forward one week before the scheduled vote on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey Senate Republican: Criminal justice reform needs more GOP support GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference 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.