Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation

Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? Pompeo: US 'certainly looking at' ban on Chinese social media apps like TikTok Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Filibuster reform gains steam with Democrats Senate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday backed a call from Christine Blasey Ford for an FBI investigation before she testifies on her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“I strongly support Dr. Ford’s call for an FBI investigation before a hearing is held," Schumer said in a statement Tuesday night. "An immediate FBI investigation is not only consistent with precedent, it is also quite clearly the right thing to do."

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also issued a statement, saying she agrees with Ford's letter to committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump says GOP 'flexible' on convention plans Overnight Defense: House Dems offer M for Army to rename bases | Bill takes aim at money for Trump's border wall | Suspect in custody after shooting at Marine training facility  MORE (R-Iowa).

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"I agree with [Ford] 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and is reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill. I also agree that we need the facts before senators—not staff or lawyers—speak to witnesses," Feinstein wrote in an emailed statement Tuesday.

“We should honor Dr. Blasey Ford’s wishes and delay this hearing. A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to. Only then should the chairman set a hearing date," she continued.

Feinstein's statement came after the release of a letter from Ford's lawyers requesting the investigation be completed. In the letter, the lawyers said the professor has faced death threats since coming forward Sunday in a Washington Post interview.

In the interview, Ford alleged that Kavanaugh held her down during a high school party while groping her and attempting to remove her clothes. Attempts to call for help were forcibly muffled by the nominee, she claimed.

"In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized," her lawyers wrote in the letter.

"She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online," the letter continues.

Feinstein denounced the death threats and criticism Ford's lawyers spoke of in her statement, calling on her fellow senators to do the same.

“I hope that each and every one of us will immediately denounce the horrific treatment of Dr. Blasey Ford. That this brave woman is receiving death threats and has been forced to flee with her family is appalling and heartbreaking. This abuse must stop. We’re better than this," she wrote.

The Trump administration is hoping to conclude Kavanaugh's nomination process with a vote in the full Senate before November's midterm elections. The allegation from Ford has complicated the timeline in recent days, with several key Republicans, including Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRomney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Susan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Graham challenger Harrison raises record-shattering .9 million for SC Senate bid MORE (Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (Ariz.), joining Democrats in calling for Ford's claim to be heard before a vote occurs.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE himself has vowed that Kavanaugh's nomination will continue, and defended him at a joint press conference with his nominee on Tuesday.

"Honestly I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredible, lovely woman and for his beautiful young daughters," Trump said. "I feel terribly for them."