Cory Gardner: Kavanaugh’s accuser ‘deserves to be heard’

Author: Mark Harden - September 17, 2018 - Updated: September 18, 2018

NATOSupreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, left, meets with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on June 26. (Photo courtesy of Gardner’s office)

The woman accusing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school “deserves to be heard” by the Senate committee deciding whether to recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Monday.

Gardner has joined a growing number of senators — mostly Democrats but also including some Republicans — who favor letting Christine Blasey Ford be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it votes on Kavanaugh.

“Dr. Ford’s voice deserves to be heard,” Gardner spokesman Casey Contres said in a statement email to Colorado Politics. “Senator Gardner believes that the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to interview Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh without delay to gather as many facts as possible.”

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Before the allegations arose, Gardner said he supported Kavanaugh’s confirmation, saying he would make “an incredible Supreme Court justice.”

The committee is slated to vote on Kavanaugh on Thursday. Republican Senate leaders had hoped to wrap up Kavanaugh’s confirmation in time to seat him on the Supreme Court ahead of its next session starting in October and the November midterm elections.

But the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is under growing pressure to delay the vote until Ford and Kavanaugh can appear and answer questions about her accusations.

Ford — now a professor in California — alleges that at a gathering of teenagers in the early 1980s, a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to undress her, then put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.

Kavanaugh, in a statement Monday, called Ford’s accusation “a completely false allegation,” adding: “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone.”

He said he would be willing to testify about the matter.

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President Donald Trump on Monday told reporters at the White House that he would not be against a delay in the Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh to review the accusations.

“If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay,” he said. “…We want to go through the process.”

Colorado’s other U.S. senator, Democrat Michael Bennet, said Sept. 11 — before details of Ford’s allegations surfaced — that he would vote no on Kavanaugh.

“Judge Kavanaugh will create a new Supreme Court majority that will threaten women’s reproductive rights, roll back essential environmental regulations, and favor large corporations over workers,” Bennet said last week. “In addition, his view that sitting presidents may be immune from criminal investigations and subpoenas is particularly troublesome at this moment. For these reasons, I will oppose his nomination.”

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.