On Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), fed up with the political shenanigans and machinations of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee as they try to derail the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, fired off a heated letter to those same Democrats, bluntly accusing them of abusing the confirmation process.
Grassley commenced by noting the Democrats wanted Grassley to eschew reopening the hearing on the nomination on Monday, as Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, had made serious allegations against the judge. Grassley agreed Ford had a right to be heard, but noted that a hearing would allow her the chance to testify under oath, as Ford’s attorney had requested. Grassley added that holding a hearing would allow Kavanaugh to address the allegations without further delay.
Grassley pointed out, “We’ve offered her a public hearing, a private hearing, a public staff interview, or a private staff interview. The staff is even willing to fly to California, or anywhere else, to meet her.”
Grassley took a swipe at the Democrats on the committee, writing, “I certainly can understand that Dr. Ford might be distrustful of the Committee’s ability to keep matters confidential based on the Democratic members’ recent conduct, but I sincerely hope that, if she chooses to testify in a closed session, that my colleagues can see their way to plugging the leaks which have plagued this nomination and gain their trust.”
He dismissed the Democrats’ request for an FBI investigation, rightly noting, “The FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee … We have no power to commandeer an Executive Branch agency into conducting our due diligence.” He added, “… your request ignores the fact that Dr. Ford has already made her allegations public. The purpose of the background investigation process is to compile information in a confidential manner.”
Grassley stated that Kavanaugh had already sat for a transcribed interview on Monday, and that he understood he was under penalty of felony if he was not truthful. He added that the Democrats were given the opportunity to participate and ask Kavanaugh their own questions, but they declined.
After delineating how the ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, had been aware of Ford’s accusations since July, but only leaked them on the eve of the confirmation vote, Grassley concluded with a blistering attack:
This is but the latest—and most serious—of your side’s abuse of this confirmation process. There has been delay and obstruction of this process at every turn and with every argument available. Therefore, I will view any additional complaints about the process very skeptically.