Politics

McConnell and Grassley Have Prevented Proper Scrutiny of Kavanaugh. That Has to End, Now.

In their blockbuster report on new allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, two of the country’s most highly-regarded journalists, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, have written in The New Yorker that senior Republican staffers “learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote.”

It is already clear that formal consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination should be put on hold pending a renewed inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. At the same time, senators from both parties should be considering the question of whether any of their as-of-now-unnamed colleagues may have responded to the prospect of new revelations regarding Kavanaugh’s record with efforts to “accelerate the timing of a committee vote.” These questions must be asked in the context of broader concerns about an unsettling and unacceptable rush by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court—without the proper consideration of a judicial nomination that senators are bound by the Constitution to check and balance.

Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale with the man Donald Trump has nominated for a place on the high court, has alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself and shoved his penis in her face during a drunken party at the university. That charge is being reviewed by several Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats who have suggested, as does Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, that: “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated.” The ranking Democrat on the committee, California Senator Dianne Feinstein has requested the cancellation of a Thursday hearing at which another woman was to testify about an alleged assault by the nominee.

In a letter to Grassley, Feinstein called for “an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims.”


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