President Trump on Wednesday said if the woman who has accused his nominee to the Supreme Court does not show up on Monday to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “that would be unfortunate.”
Speaking to reporters outside the White House as he departed for a trip to see the damage from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Trump said that if the woman appears before the committee “and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision. But I can only say this — he is such an outstanding man, very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
“I really want to see her. I really would want to see what she has to say. If she shows up, that would be wonderful,” Trump said. “If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”
Trump also said on Wednesday that he wants the Senate to move ahead with a vote on Brett Kavanaugh, saying his nominee has an “unblemished record.”
“This is a very tough thing for him and his family and we want to get it over with,” the president said. “I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on. I would let the senators take their course … and really, they’re hurting somebody’s life.”
Trump also responded to the accuser’s call to have the FBI reopen a probe into Kavanaugh’s background.
“It would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that,” he said.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Tuesday, lawyers for accuser Christine Blasey Ford said an FBI investigation “should be the first step.” That could delay the hearing by weeks or months — perhaps even past the mid-term elections in November. But Grassley’s office says that the FBI has already notified the committee — and stated publicly — that it considers the matter closed.
More importantly, Grassley’s office said that’s just not what the FBI does.
“The FBI does not make credibility determinations. The FBI provides information on a confidential basis in order for decision makers to determine an individual’s suitability,” Grassley’s committee office said. “The Senate has the information it needs to follow up with witnesses and gather and assess the relevant evidence.”
Republicans, meanwhile, do not appear ready to delay the process for weeks and weeks. Grassley had offered Ford time on Monday to testify, but if she chooses not to, Republicans may proceed to a vote.
“Republicans extended a hand in good faith,” said Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who initially said the vote should be delayed in order to hear Ford on Monday. “If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.”