Republicans on Senate panel ready to vote if Christine Blasey Ford doesn’t testify

September 19, 2018

Republican senators said Wednesday the vote on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination should move forward if his accuser Christine Blasey Ford does not come before the Judiciary Committee to testify about her allegations.

The two GOP senators who specifically said they were not ready to vote on Judge Kavanaugh after the allegations by the California professor are now on board.

Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, told Politico on Sunday that he thought delaying the vote “would be best for all,” but on Wednesday tweeted “let’s vote” if Ms. Ford refuses to speak.

After learning of the allegation, Chairman @ChuckGrassley took immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private. Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote. Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) September 19, 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, confirmed his position to CNN Tuesday night, telling reporters, “I think we’ll have to move to the markup.”

When Dr. Ford came forward, I said that her voice should be heard and asked the Judiciary Committee to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. It did so. I now implore Dr. Ford to accept the invitation for Monday, in a public or private setting. The committee should hear her voice. Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 19, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, demanded that the committee votebetaken “ASAP,” and echoed Chairman Charles E. Grassley’s argument that an FBI investigation would be futile.

Requiring an FBI investigation of a 36 year old allegation (without specific references to time or location) before Professor Ford will appear before the Judiciary Committee is not about finding the truth, but delaying the process till after the midterm elections. Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC)September 19, 2018

Ms. Ford sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday night requested that the FBI investigate her claims before she testifies.

Mr. Grassley said an FBI probe would not be effective.

“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” he said in a statement Tuesday night.

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