Democratic lawmakers repeated calls for an FBI probe into the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday despite four witnesses saying they don’t recall the party where Christine Blasey Ford says she was assaulted.
The repeated demands for the FBI investigation come after a woman who reportedly attended the high school party with with Ms. Blasey Ford more than three decades ago has no recollection of the event and denies knowing the Supreme Court nominee, her lawyer told the Judiciary Committee Saturday.
Leland Keyser is now the fourth person who has come forward with no recollection of the party or incident, as described by Ms. Blasey Ford, a California professor, who accused Judge Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her after drinking heavily at a high school party in the early 1980s.
Two other men have also told the committee they don’t remember the party and deny ever having witnessed Judge Kavanaugh act in the manner Ms. Blasey Ford alleges. Judge Kavanaugh has also denied the accusation.
Though the denials undermine Ms. Blasey Ford’s claim, Democrats doubled down Sunday, saying there’s still a need for an FBI probe, so the witnesses can be interviewed and more facts can come to light.
“It also speaks to another thing Dr. Ford has said from the start — lets have the investigation,” Judiciary Committee member Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, told ABC on Sunday. “That to me speaks to her efforts to try to get to the bottom of this.”
Ms. Blasey Ford said she was physically and sexually assaulted at a suburban Maryland home, claiming Judge Kavanaugh put her hand over her mouth so no one else could hear her scream. After another friend jumped on the two of them, she broke free and left the house.
Mark Judge, the man who was allegedly in the room at the time of the attack, is also denying the allegation. He told the Judiciary Committee he doesn’t recall the incident and defended Judge Kavanaugh’s conduct. He also told lawmakers he doesn’t wish to testify at a hearing next week.
Ms. Blasey Ford, though, is calling for the committee to subpoena Mr. Judge.
“That is astounding to me — he was right there in that room. He refuses to testify,” Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, told CNN. “There is credibility to her story.”
Republicans, though, have reportedly said they won’t be subpoenaing anyone and only Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Blasey Ford will testify.
“Senate Republicans have predetermined the outcome of that — this will be a ‘he said, she says’ by taking that away,” Sen. Patty Murray told NBC of no FBI probe or extra witness testimony.
The committee held off a vote on Judge Kavanaugh last Thursday in order to accommodate Ms. Blasey Ford’s testimony, but her lawyers have demanded the GOP have the FBI first investigate her claim, allow her to testify after Judge Kavanaugh in a different room, and give her an unlimited amount of time to make her opening statement.
They also requested the hearing to be on Thursday, while committee Republicans had offered to change the hearing date from Monday to Wednesday.
Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican extended the deadline for Ms. Blasey Ford to accept the committee’ invitation to tell her story to lawmakers five times, and on Saturday her attorney said she would like to testify, and looks forward to negotiating the details of the hearing.
“This is not a yes. It’s yet another delay and Judge Kavnaugh has agreed and asked to testify for a week now,” a White House official told The Washington Times.
Though more than a week has gone by since Ms. Blasey Ford first came forward with her claims and initially agreed to testify, but later demurred, there seems to be some agreement on the horizon, according to several news outlets, which reported Sunday the hearing will take place Thursday morning at 10 a.m. and it’ll be open to the public.
Judge Kavanaugh, meanwhile, has vehemently denied the accusation, and so far no corroborating witness has publicly come forward to back up Ms. Blasey Ford’s account.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said he will listen to Ms. Blasey Ford’s testimony, but he stressed her claim would never move forward in criminal or civil court due to lacking specifics and dating back decades.
“What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy’s life based on an accusation? I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know where it happened and everybody named in regard to being there said it didn’t happen,” Mr. Graham told Fox News. “I’m just being honest — unless there’s something more, no I’m not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this.”