NY Politicians React To Ford-Kavanaugh Testimony

This story has been updated.

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, and adamantly denied Christine Blasey Ford's allegation of sexual assault. Photo Credit: Washington Post
Christine Blasey Ford details the 1982 attack she claims was made by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation. Photo Credit: CNN

New York's leading Democrats called Thursday's testimony against U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh credible and potentially fatal to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, you are a hero,” wrote Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on Twitter.

Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote: "If our Republican colleagues are so certain of Judge Kavanaugh’s story, they should immediately demand that the White House order the FBI to reopen the background investigation, and hold off on a vote for several days so all the facts can come out."

"While I strongly believe Dr. Ford, the way to clear this up would be to have the FBI reopen the investigation, actually interview potential witnesses, and get to the truth before the Senate is required to vote on whether to elevate Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," Schumer said on Twitter.

The 21-member Senate Judiciary Committee split along party lines on Friday afternoon, 11-10,, advancing Kavanaugh's confirmation to a full U.S. Senate floor vote. But a deal apparently was brokered within the GOP majority to delay the full Senate vote by one week to allow an FBI investigation.

Earlier, Schumer wrote, "Dr. Ford’s testimony was courageous, difficult to hear, and grounded in the facts. Judge Kavanaugh was angry, defiant, and partisan."

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey was among the New York Democrats who thinks the allegations against Kavanaugh warrant an investigation by the FBI.

Lowey, who represents Westchester and Rockland counties, reacted after three hours of testimony by Ford, who is one of at least four Kavanaugh accusers.

In 1991, Lowey was among the seven female Democratic congresswomen who convinced Senate Democrats to allow Anita Hill to testify about her sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

And now, given Prof. Ford's emotion-packed testimony on Thursday, Lowey said she thinks Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

"You have to look at the whole person, and from what I hear from Dr. Ford, I would not want to see Judge Kavanaugh on the highest court of the land," Lowey said.

"We know that an appointment to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, is more than intelligence and an Ivy League school. His credibility, and his character, has to be evaluated," Lowey said.

In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Ford answered questions for hours about her claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school ー accusations that Lowey said appear to be credible.

Her convictions about Ford aside, Lowey noted that the accusations against Kavanaugh should still be investigated thoroughly by the proper authorities.

"We should take our time, and he should be subject to an FBI investigation," Lowey said. 

Even so, Lowey said she thinks that Kavanaugh should still get a confirmation vote.

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, who represents southern Westchester and the Bronx, said: “When President Trump announced his selection of Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, I thought he was an unacceptable nominee, and that was before we even knew who Dr. Ford was. Now it should be clear to everyone that his appointment to our nation’s highest court would be a disaster for the country."

"A vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination by the full Senate (on Friday) would be completely irresponsible and further expose this process for what it truly is: a blatant, highly partisan power grab of the Supreme Court by members of the GOP. This is a pivotal moment for our country. I urge Senate leadership to do the right thing, delay (a) vote, and call for the FBI investigation.”

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