Grassley Faces More Stonewalling as He Tries to Investigate Dr. Ford's Allegations

Since the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford were made public on Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has done everything possible to ensure that the Senate investigates the claims and is able to evaluate their truth before moving forward with the nomination.  Yet despite the Democrats claiming that this is what they wanted, as Chairman Grassley has attempted to work with them, Senate Democrats and Dr. Ford's attorneys now claim that they want the Senate to wait for the results of an FBI investigation that the FBI says is not going to happen.  This reveals the Democrats' true goal, even more than the politically opportune timing of when Dr. Ford's accusations were leaked: delaying Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation until after the November elections in the hope of taking the Senate and blocking all future judicial nominations by President Trump.


Chairman Grassley is doing all he can to ensure that Dr. Ford has an opportunity to make her case before the Senate and before the public, if she desires, as he explained in a letter to Dr. Ford's attorneys today (emphasis added):

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has supplemented Judge Kavanaugh’s background investigation file in light of the allegations raised by your client, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The Committee’s standard procedure for supplemented background investigations is to conduct phone or in-person interviews with the relevant parties to discuss the underlying issues. To that end, Committee staff has attempted to contact you directly by phone and e-mail several times to schedule a call at a time convenient for you and your client. We thus far have not heard back from you with regard to that request. . . .

As you know, I have reopened the hearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in light of Dr. Ford’s allegations. That hearing will begin again on Monday, September 25, at 10:00 a.m. I have invited Dr. Ford to testify regarding her allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. And in recognition of how difficult it can be to discuss allegations of this kind in public, I have also offered her the choice of testifying in either a public or closed session of the hearing. In response to my invitation, however, you wrote yesterday that “an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations.”

I certainly understand and respect Dr. Ford’s desire for an investigation of her allegations. That is precisely what the Senate is doing. That is why our investigators have asked to speak with your client. That is why I have invited Dr. Ford to tell her story to the Senate and, if she so chooses, to the American people. It is not the FBI’s role to investigate a matter such as this. Before nominating an individual to a judicial or executive office, the White House directs the FBI to conduct a background investigation. The FBI compiles information about a prospective nominee and sends it to the White House. The White House then provides FBI background investigation files to the Senate as a courtesy to help us determine whether to confirm a nominee. The FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee. Nor is it tasked with investigating a matter simply because the Committee deems it important. The Constitution assigns the Senate, and only the Senate, with the task of advising the President on his nominee and consenting to the nomination if the circumstances merit. We have no power to commandeer an Executive Branch agency into conducting our due diligence. The job of assessing and investigating a nominee’s qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone. . . .

You have stated repeatedly that Dr. Ford wants to tell her story. I sincerely hope that Dr. Ford will accept my invitation to do so, either privately or publicly, on Monday. In the meantime, my staff would still welcome the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ford at a time and place convenient to her. . . .


In response to the Democrats' stonewalling, even the Senate Republicans who previously urged the Senate to delay confirmation until the matter was investigated are now saying that the Senate should move to a vote on the confirmation if the stonewalling continues:



Senator Lindsey Graham, who is often willing to work across the aisle when the Democrats are being reasonable and voted to confirm both Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, has been especially vocal in his criticism of the Democrats' delay tactics:


We applaud Chairman Grassley for taking seriously and working to investigate the truth of Dr. Ford's claims as soon as they were known (unlike Senator Feinstein), attempting to work with all parties involved, and giving all sides the opportunity to be heard before moving forward. Like Senators Corker and Graham (and many others), we urge the Senate Judiciary Committee not to give in to the Democrats' stonewalling and political games on the eve of the Committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh.