Jeff Flake: Kavanaugh Accuser ‘Must Be Heard’

Arizona Republican tells Washington Post nomination vote should be delayed

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Sunday that a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago “must be heard.”  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen Jeff Flake is urging the Judiciary committee not to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation until it hears from a woman who has accused him of a sexual assault while they were in high school.

The Arizona Republican told The Washington Post that Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who first went public with her allegations in a Post story Sunday,  “must be heard.”

A Judiciary committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination is scheduled on Thursday.

Flake, who serves on the Judiciary committee, told the Post that he has made it clear he is not comfortable with voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination later this week “if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further.”

Flake’s concerns could have considerable influence. Any potential defection by a Republican on a committee where the Republicans hold a one-senator majority could be fatal to Kavanaugh’s nomination. Flake did not indicate to the Post how he would vote, but said it was his view “we can’t vote until we hear more.”

Ford alleged in an earlier Post story Sunday that Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk” — corralled her in a bedroom. There, according to the account, Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed and groped her while attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothes she was wearing over it.

Flake, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, is not running for re-election.

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