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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems McConnell vows to 'vigorously' oppose Moore's Senate bid Pelosi: Trump delay on Harriet Tubman is 'an insult to the hopes of millions' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election 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 GrassleyGrassley raises concerns about objectivity of report critical of GOP tax law's effects Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Key Trump proposal to lower drug prices takes step forward 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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns Stephen King: 'It's time for Susan Collins to go' MORE (Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (Ariz.), joining Democrats in calling for Ford's claim to be heard before a vote occurs.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question 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."