Collins: Second Kavanaugh accuser should speak with Senate panel under oath
GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), a critical swing vote in the Supreme Court fight, said on Monday that she believed a woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct should speak with Senate staff under oath.
“I believe that the committee investigators should reach out to Deborah Ramirez to question her under oath about what she is alleging happened,” Collins told reporters, when asked what she made of the latest allegation against Kavanaugh.
Asked if she believed Ramirez should appear at a Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday, Collins added that she didn’t.
“No, because there hasn’t even been an interview of her yet and I think that needs to take place first,” Collins said.
The New Yorker reported that Senate Democrats are investigating a second sexual misconduct allegation dating back to Kavanaugh’s freshman year at Yale University.
Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her during a gathering at Yale. She told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face, causing her to touch it without her consent.
Kavanaugh denies wrongdoing.
A spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Sunday night that they would look into the new allegations, which they accused Democrats of hiding from them.
The allegation came as Kavanaugh is already scheduled to testify on Thursday before the Judiciary Committee. Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of pinning her down to a bed and trying to remove her clothes during a high school party, is also scheduled to testify.
Collins said on Monday that she remains undecided on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging to bring to the Senate floor for a vote.
“I also am eager for the hearing to take place this Thursday and hear from Judge Kavanaugh and from Dr. Ford,” she said.
She added that “obviously the hearing Thursday is an important one.”
Collins is one of a few GOP senators who remain undecided on Kavanaugh and a decision by her could help sink his nomination.
Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate. They can lose one GOP senator before they would need help from Democrats to get Kavanaugh confirmed.