The FBI should not investigate a California professor's allegations of sexual assault against US Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, adding that he wanted his nominee to be confirmed quickly.
Anita Hill, whose 1991 allegations of sexual harassment against a Supreme Court nominee foreshadowed the scene now playing out in D.C., said Tuesday that the Senate is no better prepared to vet claims against a nominee today than it was then.
Democrats complained that there was not a thorough FBI investigation of the allegations that took place, and no major witnesses other than Hill and Thomas who were called.
Democratic committee members say their request to the FBI is not for a criminal investigation, but "appropriate follow-up" to the FBI's background investigation.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, and is scheduled to testify publicly about the alleged incident on Monday Sept. 24. In their letter to Wray and McGahn, they ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interview Kavanaugh, Ford and other relevant witnesses.
But Trump said he supported the additional Judiciary Committee hearing, saying "there shouldn't even be a little doubt", about Kavanaugh's nomination. Judge Kavanaugh has also said he is willing to testify. "The FBI has, I think, gone through a process six times with him over the years".
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.
"If it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay", Trump said.
Julie Chen Exiting ‘The Talk’ Amid Moonves Scandal
After the clip aired, co-host Sara Gilbert expressed solidarity with Chen. "Goodnight", she said when addressing viewers. Leslie's a good man and loving father, a devoted husband and an inspiring corporate leader.
And in Tennessee, where Democrat Phil Bredesen is running against Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn for a Senate seat, the Democrat insisted that Ford "should be heard". "I have said from the beginning that these are very serious allegations and she deserves to be heard".
The public accusation led Grassley on Monday to announce that the committee would convene next Monday to give both Kavanaugh and Ford the opportunity to publicly testify, as both had indicated a willingness to do so.
"It kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?"
The charges against Judge Kavanaugh - seized upon by otherwise powerless Democrats eager to reject the nomination and condemned by Republicans who spoke of, in the words of the American Conservative Union Foundation, the "disgraceful effort.to impugn his sterling character" - are an eerie echo of one of the signature political battles of the late 20th century, the 1991 confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas. The allegation does not involve any potential federal crime.
But the Republicans only have a single-vote majority on the committee, which they control 11 to 10, while they hold the Senate by just 51-49. Dean Heller is in a hard fight for re-election, his Democratic challenger, Rep. Jacky Rosen, used the allegation against Kavanaugh to stoke doubt about Heller's judgment.
A spokesperson for Senator Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman, said he was "actively working" to set up bipartisan calls to Mr Kavanaugh and his accuser, Mrs Ford, as a result of the allegations.
Ford's allegations come almost a year after the #MeToo movement was popularised following the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, who has since been charged with rape and other sexual crimes.
"She's got a strong group of women who are standing by her and would do anything for her", said Bethany Kay, 44, a CPA for a tech company.