Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Sen. Blumenthal: 'I Believe Dr. Blasey Ford'

September 21, 2018 - 7:10 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling for a delay in the hearing and confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Blumenthal joined WCBS 880's afternoon anchor Steve Scott to discuss why he believes a delay is needed.

"The Republican leadership has set a completely arbitrary and irrational deadline of this Monday for the sexual assault survivor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to come forward and tell her story," Blumenthal said. "The foundational principle ought to be that a sexual assault survivor should have the opportunity to tell her story when and how she wishes and in this instance Dr. Blasey Ford has very understandably asked that the date be postponed to maybe Wednesday or Thursday in the week with conditions that ensure her safety and fairness in the way she's questioned and so I've asked that there be an FBI investigation to help uncover the truth, that other witnesses be called and subpoenaed if necessary because the way the story is told has to be designed to uncover the truth and also protect Dr. Blasey Ford."

Scott: Now we understand Dr. Blasey Ford would like to delay her appearance, Judge Kavanaugh has agreed to appear before your committee on Monday. Do you still expect him to be there?

Blumenthal: We are awaiting word from the chairman of the committee Sen. (Chuck) Grassley as to whether he will postpone it as I requested, a number my colleagues have as well, and most important Dr. Blasey Ford has requested. She should be given the opportunity to tell her story in a setting and on a date that is OK with her because she has been through a nightmare -- death threats, false accusations, hostility, insensitivity, some of it from my colleague which I greatly regret -- and now there is a need for investigation by trained professionals at the FBI. It's their job to do this kind of investigation and there's a need for corroborating witnesses who may shed light on the truth as well. I'm hopeful that those conditions will be met but she apparently has agreed to be flexible and I think we have to admire her courage and strength.

Scott: Senator if I could play a bit of a devil's advocate looking at the positions expressed by those on the other side of the aisle, do we really need to delay? Do we really need an investigation on something that may or may not have happened 40 years ago?

Blumenthal: Do we really need a rush to judgment for the lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land that will affect people's lives in real time and in the real world for decades to come? There ought to be no un-investigated serious allegations here about the person to occupy that position of immense trust. All we're asking is that the truth be uncovered and the arbitrary deadline that's been set is a disservice to the American people, to the Supreme Court and ultimately for Judge Kavanaugh. This stain and cloud over the court will undermine its credibility, the trust and faith of the American people in its impartiality. What's needed now is uncovering the truth and these very serious allegation must be investigated.

Scott: Do you still expect the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to vote on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination before the November mid-term elections. This is not an effort to stretch it out beyond that, is it?

Blumenthal: There's no effort here at undue delay what she has sought is a few days not weeks in postponing the hearing where she will testify, but these allegations are so serious and frankly I believe the survivor, I believe Dr. Blasey Ford she has come forward at great cost to herself, there's every reason to believe her. There are various reason to disbelieve Judge Kavanaugh such as his evasive and seemingly misleading testimony to the Judiciary Committe. So the allegation here are serious, requiring real investigation and a opportunity for her to testify that meets her need to prepare and also protect herself.

Scott: Finally, senator, do you wish perhaps in retrospect that Sen. Feinstein ranking member on judiciary had perhaps come forward with the information she had from Dr. Blasey Ford earlier and and got this all out in the open earlier?

Blulmenthal: The foundational principle in dealing with victims or survivors of sexual assault is they have a right to tell their story when and how they wish. She requested confidentiality when she wrote to Sen. Feinstein, and Sen. Feinstein respected that very strongly expressed wish for confidentiality. She declined to come forward, now she has. We need to move forward on these very serious allegations and explore whether this man belongs on the highest court in the land for a lifetime appointment when he has been very credibly accused by a survivor of attempted rape.