President Donald Trump stated on Monday he wants the sexual assault allegation against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to receive “full process” in the U.S. Senate, but predicted it “will work out very well.”
“I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner because they had this information for many months,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “They shouldn’t have waited until literally the last days. They should have done it a lot sooner.”
The president dismissed any notion that Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration, calling it a “ridiculous” question and saying he is a “very special guy,” who has “never had a blemish on his record,” The Hill reported.
Trump also singled out Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for holding onto the allegation by University of Palo Alto professor Christine Blasey Ford for months.
In a letter received by Feinstein in early July, Ford claims that Kavanaugh held her down and groped her over her clothing at a high school party when he had been drinking heavily.
Ford was 15 at the time and going into her sophomore year and Kavanaugh, 17, was entering his senior year, The Washington Post reported.
Trump noted that Kavanaugh met at length privately with Feinstein, but she never broached the subject.
Nonetheless, the president said, “We want to go through a full process,” adding, “I have great confidence in the U.S. Senate and in their procedures and what they’re doing.”
Trump conceded a “little delay” might be needed to look into the allegation.
Check out Trump’s statement here:
Kavanaugh unambiguously denied the allegation when it first surfaced last week, and again in a more forceful statement on Monday, CBS News reported.
“This is a completely false allegation,” Kavanaugh said in a statement Monday morning. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
He added, “I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told CNN on Monday that her client is also willing to testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued a statement on Monday, saying, “Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.”
He added, “Unfortunately, committee Republicans have only known about this person’s identity from news reports for less than 24 hours and known about her allegations for less than a week. Sen. Feinstein, on the other hand, has had this information for many weeks and deprived her colleagues of the information necessary to do our jobs.”
As of Monday afternoon, there had been no official announcement on whether the Judiciary Committee’s vote on the Kavanaugh nomination would take place as scheduled on Thursday.
(Update: Fox News reported Monday evening that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on Kavanaugh has been delayed.)
A full Senate vote on Kavanaugh nomination had been expected by the end of this month before the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s session on Oct. 1.
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