Christine Blasey Ford told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) she wants the FBI to investigate her claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The request raises doubts about whether she and Kavanaugh will appear before the committee on Monday, reports Politico. An FBI inquiry by the FBI “will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner,” Ford’s attorneys said. Republicans may hold with the hearing whether or not Ford shows up. Grassley said. “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.”
Ford’s push for an independent investigation into her allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school is consistent with the demands of Senate Democrats who have asked for an independent probe of the claims. Kavanaugh denies Ford’s allegations. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the panel, said that the hearing should be delayed, adding: “We’re better than this.” Republicans have been angered by Democrats’ repeated calls to delay action and seem unwilling to hit the brakes. Kavanaugh agreed to appear Monday. Whether and when the nomination moves forward depends on a handful of swing vote Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee. Republicans said they could hold a committee vote on Kavanaugh as soon as next week. Still, Republicans’ goal of getting Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old appeals judge, confirmed in time for the Oct. 1 start of the Supreme Court’s term is in jeopardy.