Senate

Grassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt

Anna Moneymaker

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (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 Flake (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. 

{mosads}“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 Cruz (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 Sasse (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.

Tags Ben Sasse Chuck Grassley Jeff Flake Ted Cruz
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