Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hit a major snag on Sunday, with his sexual assault accuser coming forward and Republican Senator Jeff Flake calling for a pause to investigate the allegations.
Democrat Dianne Feinstein had previously shared details of a then-anonymous allegation against Kavanaugh from his high school days, with a woman claiming that Kavanaugh held her down and groped her. On Sunday, the woman came forward and offered more details about the allegation. Christine Blasey Ford recounted the assault in an interview with the Washington Post, sharing that she first came forward with the allegation in 2012 in a conversation with a therapist.
That led Republican Senator Jeff Flake to call for a pause in Kavanaugh’s nomination. Flake told the Washington Post that Ford’s allegations “must be heard” before a Senate committee can move forward in pushing Kavanaugh through to a confirmation vote for the full Senate.
“I’ve made it clear that I’m not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further,” Flake said, adding, “For me, we can’t vote until we hear more.”
Ford gave a graphic recounting of the event, which she said took place when both she and Kavanaugh were drunk at a party in high school. She accused him of pinning her down on a bed as he tried to take off her one-piece bathing suit, then covering her mouth when she tried to scream. The incident came to an end when one of Kavanaugh’s friends, who were there for the entire incident, jumped on the pair and sent them crashing to the ground.
Ford said the incident was terrifying, and that it caused anxiety and left her with post-traumatic stress disorder for years to come.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford said. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford also gave the full name of the friend she said brought an end to the incident, offering more corroboration of her story. The man has not yet offered any insight into the alleged assault.
While Jeff Flake is calling for time to investigate the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, the White House is standing by Donald Trump’s nominee, and other Republicans have characterized Ford’s coming forward as “uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago,” the Chicago Tribune noted. It is not clear yet if the committee vote scheduled for Thursday will be delayed.