- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said the committee is looking into new claims of sexual assault involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
- Grassley said a Thursday hearing with Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, is set to go on as planned.
- He did not rule out the possibility of another hearing to address the other allegations.
- Grassley also weighed in on new allegations against Kavanaugh, made public by attorney Michael Avenatti on Wednesday.
- “I haven’t even gone to Google to learn more about him,” Grassley said of Avenatti. “It seems to me he wants to protect people that are involved in pornography and he’s running for president.”
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday’s hearing for testimony from Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault when they were both teenagers, will go on as planned even as new allegations surfaced on Wednesday.
“We’re doing everything to accommodate Dr. Ford with the environment she wanted. She doesn’t want it to be a media circus, she wants to be treated respectfully. She wants breaks. Everything like that,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
He added: “So to answer your question, the committee meeting is going to go ahead because I don’t feel that we should disadvantage Dr. Ford any more than she’s already been disadvantaged in the sense of people wondering whether the hearing was going to be last week or this week or whatever else.”
Grassley also noted that the committee will be looking into the allegations made by Julie Swetnick that Kavanaugh was present when she was “gang-raped” at a high school party in 1982.
“Every time that there’s been accusations made, we’ve tried to follow up where we could get a contact, so obviously this morning we have this contact and our investigators are on it immediately,” he said. “And I can’t say anything beyond that.”
Grassley did not rule out the possibility of additional hearings with Kavanaugh, but that any decisions on that would have to wait until after the Thursday hearing. A procedural vote to move Kavanaugh from the Judiciary Committee onto the Senate floor has already been scheduled for Friday morning, though it can be pushed back if Republicans want.
Concerning Swetick’s attorney Michael Avenatti, a regular foe of President Donald Trump who also represents porn actress Stormy Daniels in her case against the president, Grassley he only knows about him from what he has read in the news.
“I haven’t even gone to Google to learn more about him,” Grassley said. “It seems to me he wants to protect people that are involved in pornography and he’s running for president. And I don’t know what his motivations are. I don’t know what his reputation as a lawyer is.”
“But really what’s important here isn’t the lawyer,” he added. “The important is the person that claims she’s been harmed.”
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