Gillibrand: Kavanaugh accuser shouldn't participate in 'sham' hearing

Gillibrand: Kavanaugh accuser shouldn't participate in 'sham' hearing
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide Buttigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration MORE (D-N.Y.) says that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who came forward with a sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, should not be "bullied" into testifying Monday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee without an FBI investigation being performed.

In an interview with CNN, the Democratic senator says that committee members are bullying Ford by calling for her testimony without the support of corroborating witnesses or an FBI investigation into the credibility of her claim.

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"I don't think she should be bullied into this scenario, where it's a 'he-said, she-said' when many of the committee members have already made up their minds," Gillibrand said Wednesday, when asked if she hopes Ford appears for a scheduled special session of the committee on Monday.

“Without the benefit of an FBI investigation … and without the benefit of corroborating witnesses being able to testify, it’s a sham hearing," Gillibrand continues, "and I don’t think she should participate."

"Not only should she be given the opportunity to testify, which she has asked for," Gillibrand added, "she's asked for an investigation, which is the minimum that should be afforded to her, and she will want corroborating witnesses to testify too."

Blasey Ford wrote in a letter to the committee's chairman, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The 7 most interesting nuggets from the Mueller report Government report says new NAFTA would have minimal impact on economy MORE (R-Iowa), that an FBI investigation would be a necessary first step before her public testimony.

Grassley, however, has offered her the opportunity to testify privately out of the view of cameras, and Republicans have called for the hearing to move forward on Monday as planned.

“She has the option of a closed session, with cameras or without,” said Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (R-Ariz.), a member of the panel. “We want her to appear and she has said before we made the decision that she wanted to appear.”

Democrats, including the panel's ranking member, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), have called for Ford's accusation to be heard before Kavanaugh's nomination moves to the full Senate for a vote, and have called plans for a hearing Monday "rushed."

“The decision to come forward or not come forward has always been Christine Blasey Ford’s, and that includes her participation in a hearing," Feinstein said in a statement, which condemned "the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday."