According to the Washington Post, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the Senate Judiciary Committee learns more about the sexual assault allegation against him.
“We need to hear from her,” Flake said hours after Kavanaugh’s accuser identified herself publicly. “And I don’t think I’m alone in this.”
Flake told The Washington Post that he does not believe the Judiciary Committee should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until the senators hear more from Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who went public with her accusation against Kavanaugh in a Post investigation on Sunday.
NEWS: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tells me in an intv he that doesn’t think the Judiciary Cmte should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until they hear more from Christine Blasey Ford. “For me, we can’t vote until we hear more.”
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) September 16, 2018
“For me, we can’t vote until we hear more,” Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Flake, who is retiring in November, has displayed increasing willingness to break with his party in recent months. He is a frequent and outspoken critic of President Trump.
Kavanugh’s nomination cannot move forward without Flake’s support. Republicans hold a slim 11-to-10 majority in the Judiciary Committee and multiple Democrats have already vowed to vote against moving forward following Ford’s accusation.
Ford in the Post article accused Kavanaugh of an “attempted rape” in the early 1980s, when they were students at neighboring high schools in the D.C. area. She said Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to take off her clothes at a party, at one point holding his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming.
In the article, she said the “attack” has haunted her for decades and provided notes from therapy sessions with her husband in which she details the incident.
The White House and Kavanaugh have denied the accusations.
Democrats have called on the Senate to postpone the vote on Kavanaugh.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Diane Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, have both called for further investigations into the accusation.
“Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) must postpone the vote until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated,” Schumer said in a statement.
“For too long, when woman have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored,” Schumer added. “That cannot happen in this case.”