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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 SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDurbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue GOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks 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 GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October 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 CollinsConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns Susan Collins and the mob mentality MORE (Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump boosts McSally, bashes Sinema in Arizona Watch live: Trump speaks at Arizona rally Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi disappearance MORE (Ariz.), joining Democrats in calling for Ford's claim to be heard before a vote occurs.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council 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."