Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called on both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Collins, a key swing vote for Kavanaugh, tweeted on Monday that research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh should address the allegations.
“Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee,” the Maine lawmaker tweeted.
Collins’ tweet comes after The Washington Post published a story on Sunday revealing Ford’s name and more details of the alleged sexual assault that occurred when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.
Democrats and some Republican senators have expressed concern over Ford’s accusation that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when both were teenagers in suburban Maryland.
Kavanaugh released a new statement Monday calling the allegation “completely false” and saying he “had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself” to The Washington Post.
“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Kavanaugh said.
Debra Katz, the attorney for the accuser, said Ford was willing to tell her story publicly to the judiciary panel but no lawmakers had yet contacted her. Katz denied that Ford, a Democrat, was politically motivated.
“She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped,” Katz told NBC’s “Today.” Explaining Ford’s initial reluctance to come forward, Katz said, “No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go through.”
The judiciary panel’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassely of Iowa, wants Kavanaugh and Ford to be interviewed by phone by bipartisan staff. But Democrats say staff calls are insufficient and want the proceedings postponed so the FBI can investigate.
The Democrats have written to Grassley, saying delaying Thursday’s scheduled committee vote would give the FBI time to investigate.
The letter says there are serious questions about Kavanaugh’s “record, truthfulness and character.”
Grassley hasn’t indicated he’d delay the committee vote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.