Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was one of the loudest voices calling for the resignation of former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) amid accusations of sexual harassment last fall. When it comes to allegations of sexual and physical assault against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, however, Collins wants to hear both sides.
“Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee,” Collins tweeted Monday.
She reiterated that position Monday afternoon, telling reporters that both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should testify under oath, but she did not explicitly call for a delay in the vote.
.@SenatorCollins says she wants both Kavanaugh & Dr Ford to testify under oath and "respond to the allegations."
"There are an awful lot of questions, inconsistencies, gaps. And to be fair to both we need to know what happened."
Collins says she's not sure if she believes Ford pic.twitter.com/cfhpbSPBvs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2018
When asked whether she believes Ford (who goes by the name “Blasey” professionally), Collins said she doesn’t know enough about Ford or her allegations “to reach that kind of judgment.” If Kavanaugh lied about the incident, Collins continued, “that would be disqualifying.”
While Collins is hesitant to believe the woman accusing Kavanaugh of pinning her down on a bed and attempting to remove her clothes when she was 15 years old, she had no qualms with immediately believing the allegations of sexual harassment against Franken to be true.
“I did find the allegations against him to be both credible, disgusting and appalling and degrading to women,” Collins said of Franken in November.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) similarly was very outspoken on the allegations against Franken but has remained cautious in her statements to the press regarding Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Asked by CNN Sunday night if she believed the Senate Judiciary committee should delay voting on Kavanaugh, Murkowski said she believed it was something they “might have to consider.”
“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” she said. “This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response. That may be something the committee needs to look into.”
Last year, Murkowski said “abuse of power is unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated at any level.”
We’re seeing a culture of harassment & assault being exposed on a daily basis. Whether you are in the media, politics, or anywhere else abuse of power is unacceptable & shouldn’t be tolerated at any place at any level. Sen. Franken must know that & that’s why he must step down.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) December 6, 2017
While both Murkowski and Collins do not sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, they are seen as the two most pivotal votes to confirm Kavanaugh in the Senate, as they are perceived as being more moderate, pro-choice Republicans.