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Politics & Government

Sen. Coons supports investigation into sexual assault allegations against SCOTUS nominee

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Delaware Public Media
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Sen. Chris Coons is calling for the FBI to investigate sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But the president has not yet ordered that investigation.

Christine Blasey Ford said Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at party when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Ford said she wants an FBI investigation before she will agree to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans on the committee have scheduled a hearing to hear from Ford this Monday. They say if Ford doesn’t testify they may proceed with a vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Coons said the FBI could investigate quickly. And failing to do so would send a negative message to all women.

“If we were to simply charge ahead and the majority on the committee were to insist on a vote without taking her allegation seriously, that would be a significant loss in reputation and respect that the women in America have for the majority on the Judiciary Committee,” he said.

Coons said Ford has the right to be heard and have her allegations taken seriously if she does choose to testify. “Dr. Ford is getting nothing out of this," he said. "She is likely going to expose herself to what may be a critical, negative, even withering cross examination. And I shudder to think about the ways in which this may a very difficult experience for her.”

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are all men.

However the confirmation process turns out, it could have repercussions at the ballot box in November.

Republicans have expressed more sympathy for Kavanaugh than Ford in recent days. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah called Ford “mixed up.” And Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said he can’t imagine the horror of being accused of sexual assault.

President Donald Trump said he feels badly for Kavanaugh for having to go through being accused of sexual assault. He adds that the allegations are difficult to believe and “very unfair.”

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