Sep 19, 2018

Grassley says Senate, not FBI, should probe Kavanaugh accusations

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo: Leigh Vogel/WireImage

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday that allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh can and should be investigated by his committee, but resisted calls by Democrats and the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, for the FBI to launch an investigation into the claims.

The details: Ford has ruled out appearing at a Senate hearing scheduled for next week, insisting that the FBI should investigate first. But in a letter to Democrats on the committee, Grassley said the "FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee. Nor is it tasked with investigating those matters that this Committee deems important."

"We have no power to commandeer an Executive Branch agency into conducting our due diligence. The job of assessing and investigating a nominee's qualifications in order to decide whether to consent to the nomination is ours, and ours alone."
— Grassley writes.


Other Republicans seem support Grassley's argument, including Sen. Susan Collins, who's being targeted by liberal groups to vote against Kavanaugh.

  • "I hope that Dr. Ford will reconsider and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. It is my understanding that the Committee has offered to hold either a public or a private session, whichever would make her more comfortable," Collins tweeted.

Meanwhile, Ford’s attorney Lisa Banks told the Washington Post in a statement that Republicans “rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth.” Banks added that there are multiple witnesses who should be included in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing set for Monday.

Go deeper: Only the White House can order the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh allegations

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Maryland becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday he is ordering residents to stay at home effective 8 p.m. due to the coronavirus, except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: Maryland is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 741,030 — Total deaths: 35,305 — Total recoveries: 156,838.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 143,532 — Total deaths: 2,572 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan
  4. Public health updates: — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus death toll estimate is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Living with the coronavirus
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Podcast: Living with the coronavirus

Over 143,000 people in the U.S. have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them is Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz, who joins Dan to discuss his unusual symptoms, his hospital experience and the complications of quarantining with a family.