CNN reports that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a key swing vote in the Senate on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, told fellow Republicans in a meeting Wednesday that she’s “unnerved” by allegations being raised against Kavanaugh, and that she might want to hear from Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge.
Both Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are key Republican votes needed to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Both are expected to weigh Thursday’s hearings, assessing claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman 35 years ago, when they were both in their teens, before making a decision whether to vote “yes” on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Collins reportedly told her colleagues that a sworn statement, released by a third accuser yesterday, affected her in a “way that others up to that point had not.”
“Collins said given the weight of the allegations, it made sense to subpoena Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge — an alleged witness to the incidents — and bring him in for testimony,” a source told CNN.
Both the first and third accusations involve Judge. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford claims Judge joined Kavanaugh in his drunken assault on her at a Maryland home in or around 1982. Julie Swetnick, who made her claims in an affadavit released yesterday, says Judge was the ringleader of a “gang rape” operation.
Swetnick, through her attorney Michael Avenatti, has said she will not consider testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
It’s not clear whether Collins was following developments to Swetnick’s story, or Avenatti’s media appearances, both of which undercut Swetnick’s claims.