Washington’s federal delegation watched along with the nation as Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday about allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
In the days leading up to what quickly became an emotional hearing, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell asked the committee to allow the FBI to look into Ford’s allegations, as well as those made by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, rather than continue the confirmation process.
“This morning, I was one of the many people across the country watching with tears in my eyes as Dr. Ford so bravely and eloquently shared her experience of being sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh with the United States Senate and her fellow Americans,” Murray said in a press release. “And when she said that she was ‘100 percent sure’ that Judge Kavanaugh was the one who attacked her all those years ago, I believed her.”
Murray said Kavanaugh should withdraw and if he doesn’t, President Donald Trump should rescind his nomination.
“If this nomination isn’t withdrawn, then Senate Republicans must stop this mad dash to the finish line, must allow a full investigation into the allegations of all three women who have shared their experiences so far, and must hold additional hearings with Mark Judge and all other relevant witnesses to make sure that the United States Senate has the information it needs to do its job,” Murray said.
Cantwell agreed that the Senate should not move forward with the nomination.
“Dr. Ford’s strong testimony should be enough to stop any further votes before a complete nonpartisan investigation takes place,” Cantwell said in a statement. “Dr. Ford showed great strength and courage in painting for the nation the long-lasting impacts of sexual assault.”
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, said she tried to get up to speed on the hearing in-between meetings and floor votes. As a member of the House, Herrera Beutler does not vote on Supreme Court nominations.
“I still believe Dr. Ford has a right to be heard and that Judge Kavanaugh has a right to respond. This is a serious allegation and the Senate must carefully deliberate,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “Beyond that, I haven’t formed my opinion yet because I haven’t even been able to watch Dr. Ford testify.”
Murray added that if Senate Republicans continue to move forward after the day’s events, “women and men across the country are going to stand up and fight back. The United States Senate failed Anita Hill and all women in 1991, and 27 years later we must do better.”