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

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 31,201,975 — Total deaths: 963,068— Total recoveries: 21,356,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 6,833,931 — Total deaths: 199,815 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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