Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is pressing forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday after a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault called for the FBI to investigate her claims before she testifies.
Grassley on Tuesday evening said there was “no reason” to delay the hearing. Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly.
“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. 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,” Grassley said.
He added that Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school are “serious allegations and Dr. Ford deserves to be heard. … The invitation for Monday still stands.”
Grassley’s statement comes hours after Ford’s lawyer released a letter calling for an FBI investigation into her allegation. Ford says that while at a party Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to protest.
“A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, attorneys for Ford, wrote in the letter to Grassley.
But a government official told The Hill late last week that an investigation has not been opened into the allegations.
A Justice Department spokeswoman added on Monday that the “allegation does not involve any potential federal crime.”
“The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation. The purpose of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States. … The FBI’s role in such matters is to provide information for the use of the decision makers,” DOJ said in a statement.
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