Jeff Flake told Politico Sunday that he wasn’t comfortable “voting yes” on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation absent his accuser’s testimony, but on Tuesday the Arizona senator made it clear that he would support a final vote should Christine Blasey Ford not appear at Monday’s scheduled hearing.
While the Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to determine whether the hearing — should Ford show — will be public or private, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch expressed his intention to “proceed” either way, and Flake echoed that sentiment.
“We’re going to proceed — there’s no question about it,” Hatch said, adding that he preferred that Ford does show because “she needs to be heard,” CNN reported.
“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” Flake told CNN on Tuesday, adding his preference would be that she does appear because “I think she needs to be heard.”
CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju on Tuesday tweeted that Flake’s comments “suggest that Kavanaugh’s nomination may be salvaged if she declines to appear.”
After Collins and Murkowski both expressed concern if Ford doesn’t show Monday, Flake’s comments here suggest that Kavanaugh’s nomination may be salvaged if she declines to appear. https://t.co/m5Y48LKz8Y
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 18, 2018
Ford said through her attorney on Tuesday that she wouldn’t testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee until a full FBI investigation is conducted.
“Any talk of a hearing on Monday frankly is premature because she just came forward with these allegations 48 hours ago,” Lisa Banks, Ford’s attorney, told CNN on Tuesday.
“She’s not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday,” she continued. “No investigation — any legitimate investigation is not going to happen between now and Monday. This is going to take some time and what needs to happen is there shouldn’t be a rush to a hearing here. There’s no reason to do that.”