Grassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBrady releases revised version of year-end tax package Overnight 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 MORE (R-Iowa) agreed to schedule a second hearing on Brett Kavanaugh for next week after Republican members of his committee insisted on hearing from a woman who has accused him of sexual misconduct.

Sen. 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 (R-Ariz.) threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, didn’t have a chance to testify publicly about her allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school. 

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“I would have voted "no" absent her being able to tell her story,” Flake, who is retiring after this Congress, told reporters Monday evening. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGillum reached out to O’Rourke amid 2020 speculation: report O'Rourke spoke with Al Sharpton amid 2020 speculation O’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold MORE (R-Texas), who is facing a tough reelection battle in Texas, also exerted pressure on Grassley to schedule another hearing on Kavanaugh, as did Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseCNN to partner with The Des Moines Register on polling ahead of 2020 Iowa caucuses Sasse calls on DOJ to investigate its handling of wealthy sex offender's plea deal Beto O'Rourke seen as a top contender in 2020: poll MORE (R-Neb.), according to two sources familiar with internal deliberations Monday. 

“Sen. Ben Sasse firmly believes that Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh deserve to be heard and that the Senate’s obligation to steward public trust means senators should deliberate thoughtfully and carefully,” said spokesman James Wegmann. 

Flake said he insisted on following committee rules, which require at least one week of notice before hearings. 

Some Republicans on the panel wanted to get the hearings over with this week and discussed changing the panel rules to allow a second hearing on Thursday, but that position failed to achieve enough support. 

A spokeswoman for Cruz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing earlier this month was marked by partisan fighting and interruptions from protesters.

— Updated at 11:06 p.m.