The US president said on Monday that Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation could be delayed for a federal judge to look into sexual assault allegations, but predicted the process would “work out very well.”
Talking to the reporters at the White House about Kavanaugh's case, Trump called a question about whether Kavanaugh should withdraw after being accused of sexual assault “ridiculous.” The president said he hadn't spoken to federal judge about the accusations, the Hill reported, and called for the Senate to go through a “full process” in the confirmation, regardless of whether it meant a delay.
“If it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay,” Trump told reporters, “I'm sure it will work out very well.”
Trump addressed Kavanaugh's nomination for the first time since a woman named Christine Blasey Ford accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when they both were in high school. The accusations have caused some to questions Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve on the highest court. Trump, however, called Kavanaugh “one of the finest people that anybody has known” saying that the judge “never even had a little blemish on his record.”
Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and trying to rip off her clothes while drunk in 1982 in a Maryland suburb outside Washington, DC. She also said he put his hand over her mouth when she was trying to call for help. Ford’s lawyer told CBS in the television interview that Ford is willing to testify in a public hearing before senators, saying “she’s willing to do what she needs to do.”
Kavanaugh in his statement on Monday morning denied all allegations, saying he is also willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to “defend [his] integrity.”
Several senators from both parties called for another hearing to hear testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said his panel is “working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.” Meanwhile, Trump accused Democrats of timing their release of information on Kavanaugh, saying they “could have done this a lot sooner, because they had this information for many months.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote was scheduled for Tuesday; however, according to Reuters, Grassley’s committee was put under pressure to postpone the panel vote in order to fully hear out both Kavanaugh and Ford.