Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says “every accuser should be heard.” She’s withholding judgment on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until after Monday’s senate hearing to examine the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.
“I need to hear what’s going to come out on Monday. I can’t say whether the source is credible or not credible. I don’t know that, but I do believe that if she is accusing him of something so egregious, she needs to be heard,” Ernst told Radio Iowa earlier this afternoon. “Every accuser should be heard.”
Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and has said he wants to appear at Monday’s hearing.
“I think that any accuser needs to have his or her voice heard…It’s important that we hear not only from the accuser, but from Judge Kavanaugh,” Ernst said. “He should be able to rebut anything that’s said.”
Ernst is not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the hearing is to be held. Chuck Grassley, Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, is the committee’s chairman. Ernst faulted Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, for failing to alert Grassley this summer when Feinstein first learned of the allegations.
“He’s done so much work on whistleblowers and protecting their privacy…I know that if this woman had brought her information forward to Senator Grassley he would have wanted to get to the bottom of it,” Ernst told Radio Iowa. “Unfortunately, it’s being used as a political football right now and brought up at the very last-minute instead of during the hearing process when it should have come out and they could have questioned Judge Kavanaugh on the information.”
It is unclear if Christine Blasey Ford would testify at the hearing that’s been scheduled for Monday. Last night, Ford’s attorney said her client wants the FBI to interview witnesses and complete a “non-partisan” assessment of the case before she’ll testify before Grassley’s committee.