All 10 Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee members urged Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Monday to postpone Thursday’s vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to allow an FBI investigation of allegations that Kavanaugh committed a sexual assault at a party and to follow up on Kavanaugh’s “false and misleading committee testimony,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). President Trump was counting on delivering a core promise to supporters ahead of November’s midterms: Locking in a conservative Supreme Court majority. The White House went into overdrive to keep that pledge alive after Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward to accuse the judge publicly of an assault decades ago, Politico reports. Immediately after the Washington Post published an explosive story featuring a interview with Ford that detailed her allegations, Trump’s allies launched a campaign to cast doubt on her account. People close to the president said Trump will continue to stand behind Kavanaugh, even as they were increasingly resigned to the likelihood that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be compelled to examine the allegations in detail.
“Of course we’re not going to pull the nomination,” said one White House official after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a Judiciary member, said he wasn’t comfortable moving ahead on the original timetable. Republicans will question Ford’s vague recollections of some parts of the episode and why Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking Judiciary member, sat on the accusations for months. Trump was expected to go after Ford rather than to turn on Kavanaugh. Trump has a history of denouncing his accusers and those who accused others. Ford told the Post that Kavanaugh groped her, tried to pull off her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream at a party more than three decades ago. Kavanaugh said, “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”