Judiciary chair Grassley tweets apology to Kavanaugh for slightly delaying his confirmation

The Iowa Republican pretends they want to hear from Dr. Ford, while Mitch McConnell proves they don't care what she says.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at a September hearing.
Senate Judicary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at a September hearing. CREDIT: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee may have to wait a little bit longer to ram through the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime Supreme Court appointment and its chairman is not happy about it.

Hours after giving Christine Blasey Ford an arbitrary deadline of 10 p.m. Friday to decide whether she would testify before the Senate Judicary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) backed down — slightly. Instead, the new deadline was set for Saturday at 2:30 pm. Ford ultimately consented to appear, announcing through her lawyers that she would appear before the panel next week.

In an apologetic tweet aimed at Kavanaugh, the man who refused to grant any hearing to President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland for a record-setting 293 days, Grassley lamented that he has had to delay the process by a few hours more, in light of her accusation that the Trump pick tried to rape her.

Ford, who has reported death threats and to had leave her home for safety since coming forward with her story, has volunteered to travel to Washington to testify on Thursday or later. Grassley in response invited her to testify a day earlier. But he still managed to make it seem like he was the victim in this, accusing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of orchestrating the small delay.

While Grassley has publicly stated that he wants to hear Ford’s testimony before his committee endorses Kavanaugh for a lifetime appointment, he has also suggested he’d be open to just confirming him, regardless of the allegations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made clear on Friday that he does not care what Ford has to say, and that he expects his caucus will confirm Kavanaugh regardless of her testimony.


“In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the U.S. Supreme Court,” he assured attendees at an anti-LGBT hate group’s conference. “So, my friends, keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.”

Trump — himself an admitted serial sexual predator — has also stated in no uncertain terms that Kavanaugh must be confirmed immediately, regardless of the veracity of these allegations. The president tweeted Friday that if the allegations were true, the victim or her parents would have immediately filed charges — a comment that demonstrated that the president has zero understanding of the impact of sexual assault.

The Trump administration has refused to have the FBI investigate her claims, despite her request that they do so. Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) said Friday that his state’s police force would also not do any investigation of the allegations. A spokesperson for the county police in Montgomery County, Maryland, where Ford alleges the assault took place, said they would not investigate unless they received an official complaint. According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, perpetrators of sexual violence are among the least likely criminals to go to jail for their crimes.

The developments come as Kavanaugh supporters are reeling from a botched attempt to discredit Ford’s accusations by a prominent conservative judicial activist. The Washington Post reported on Friday evening that Ed Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, denied communicating with Kavanaugh or the White House before accusing a named classmate of Kavanaugh’s — with no evidence beyond the fact that the accused lived in a house and his opinion that two looked alike  — of being the the real sexual predator. Whelan has since deleted the tweet and called his own actions “an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment.” It appears, however, that Whelan examined Ford’s LinkedIn page last week, before her identity was made public.


This article was updated late Saturday with the announcement that Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.