Doug Jones on Kavanaugh accusation: ‘Slow this process down’
Alabama Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) on Tuesday called for yet another delay in the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, this time giving two new reasons in an interview with CNN.
“We need to slow this process down,” Jones emphasized.
He said that he wants a thorough FBI investigation conducted regarding the allegation of sexual assault by then-high school student Kavanaugh and that this coming Monday would be too early for the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This comes after Jones on Sunday followed the lead of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in calling for “a pause button” to be pushed on the confirmation. Jones has previously demanded that Kavanaugh’s confirmation process be put off due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and not having enough documents on the nominee, despite the fact that Senators have received hundreds of thousands of documents more than for any previous nominee.
Jones, to CNN, added that he did not know whether the planned hearing on Monday, where Kavanaugh and Ford have both been invited to testify about the allegation, would occur as scheduled. In his opinion, though, that hearing should be kicked down the road.
“Everything has moved so fast and things have changed so much,” Jones told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
Alabama’s junior senator then opined that the judiciary committee should have gotten approval from the accuser – who thus far has not committed to attending even though her attorney previously said she would testify – before scheduling the hearing.
“I wish they had not scheduled this hearing until they had a chance to talk to Dr. Ford and try to work through parameters of what she’s comfortable with,” Jones outlined. “You know, it takes a lot – this is a very brave person to come out in this kind of spotlight.”
Jones added that “it’s not the kind of thing you just barrel forward” with and lamented that, in his view, no one had tried to take the time to talk with Ford or her attorney before picking a hearing date.
However, Acosta pointed out to Jones that it was Ford’s lawyer who came out and said that she would testify. The CNN reporter then asked Jones why Ford, then, has not committed to the scheduled hearing.
“No, I don’t know – I have not talked to either Ms. Ford or her counsel,” Jones responded. “I just know this has moved very quickly and to set this thing a week (away) – what I have said from the very beginning when this happened is that both parties need to testify, they need to testify under oath. But we need to slow this process down just a little bit.”
Later, Jones asserted that it was a new FBI investigation he wanted to add to the process.
“I just completely disagree that the FBI shouldn’t get involved in this. The FBI does background checks every time there is a judicial nominee … and it’s not uncommon at all to update a background check and to do it fully and thoroughly. That’s what needs to happen before we have any kind of hearing, whether it’s public or private,” Jones advised.
Sen. Doug Jones says he wished the Judiciary Committee didn’t schedule the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser “until they had a chance to talk to Dr. Ford and work through the parameters on what she’s comfortable with.” https://t.co/xSkaucxgYa pic.twitter.com/45DDqz7PNl
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 18, 2018
Since then, Ford’s attorney made her own CNN appearance and told Anderson Cooper that Ford would not testify in front of the committee until an FBI investigation has been completed, per AXIOS. She also said the hearing would have to be pushed back from Monday but did not give a timeframe.
“There should be no rush,” the attorney said.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn