GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford

GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford
© Greg Nash
Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are weighing bringing in an outside lawyer to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault.
 
Senators have invited both Kavanaugh and Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford to testify during a high-stakes hearing next week as the panel reviews the newly revealed allegations.
 
 
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Spokespeople for Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One On The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill On The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill MORE (R-Iowa) didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about if a decision had been made on using an outside lawyer.
 
The GOP senator had told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier on Tuesday that such an option was under consideration.
 
"I would say that everything should be considered now. And all those things are being taken into consideration," Grassley said.
 
During the interview, Hewitt pitched bringing in someone like former Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race New Hampshire senator to ask 2020 Dems to back repeal of state residency law Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid MORE (R-N.H.) to question Ford. Grassley said Hewitt was "raising legitimate questions ... [but] these details are still being worked out."
 
Republicans are weighing the best approach to questioning Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down, groping her and trying to take off her clothes during a party in the early 1980s when both were in high school.
 
The Judiciary panel doesn't include any female GOP members, and the optics of 11 male Republican senators asking Ford questions should she decide to testify has drawn comparisons to the 1991 Anita Hill hearings, when every member of the Judiciary Committee was male.
 
Cornyn dismissed a question about the optics on Tuesday, telling reporters they should "think for yourselves."
 
In addition to bringing in an outside counsel, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates Democratic challenger to Susan Collins announces Senate bid MORE (R-Maine) pitched the Judiciary Committee on letting a lawyer for Kavanaugh question Ford and letting a lawyer for Ford question Kavanaugh.
 
Cornyn, asked about the idea, said it was "one that we're working with."
 
"I think we're all trying to find a consensus position on how this can be handled fairly and that certainly is one that we're working with," he said.