Republicans Question Democrats' 'Tactics and Motives' in Producing Accusatory Letter Now

By Susan Jones | September 17, 2018 | 7:27 AM EDT

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) at the confirmation hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo: Screen capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a statement after learning that an anonymous woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

“If ranking member Feinstein and other Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier,” the statement said.

The accuser, California psychology Professor Christine Blasey Ford, publicly identified herself to the Washington Post, which ran its report late Sunday afternoon.

Ford told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, when they were attending an unsupervised party in the Washington suburbs.

Ford said Kavanaugh was drunk when he pinned her to a bed, groped her, and tried to pull off her clothing, then put his hand over her mouth when she screamed.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” Ford said the attack was halted when Kavanaugh’s friend, who was also in the bedroom, jumped on them. She escaped to a bathroom, she says.

Kavanaugh denied the allegation even before the woman went public: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said in a statement issued last week.

Emma Brown, the author of the Washington Post report, told cable news shows on Monday that Ford contacted the Washington Post tip line in July; and she sent a letter at the same time to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). 

Eshoo forwarded the letter to Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who did not mention it, even to her fellow Democrats, until last week, when Democrats' attempts to stall the Kavanaugh nomination had failed. Democrats leaked word of the letter to the media.

(The text of Ford’s letter is now circulating on the Internet, including on the CNN website.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee, now under pressure to postpone this week’s planned vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, issued the following statement:


 

It’s disturbing that these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago, during high school, would surface on the eve of a committee vote after Democrats sat on them since July. If ranking member Feinstein and other Committee Democrats took this claim seriously, they should have brought it to the full Committee’s attention much earlier.

Instead, they said nothing during two joint phone calls with the nominee in August, four days of lengthy public hearings, a closed session for all committee members with the nominee where sensitive topics can be discussed and in more than 1,300 written questions. Sixty-five senators met individually with Judge Kavanaugh during a nearly two–month period before the hearing began, yet Feinstein didn’t share this with her colleagues ahead of many of those discussions.

It raises a lot of questions about Democrats’ tactics and motives to bring this to the rest of the committee’s attention only now rather than during these many steps along the way. Senator Feinstein should publicly release the letter she received back in July so that everyone can know what she’s known for weeks.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he agrees with the concerns expressed by the Judiciary Committee, on which he sits.

“However, if Ms. Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh,” Graham said.

“If the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford, it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled,” Graham said in a statement.

The Washington Post's Brown said the psychology professor decided to go public when reporters started contacting her and "her calculation shifted."

Brown said she doesn't know if Ford is willing to testify in public because Brown didn't ask her.


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