On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken a short break from their ongoing marathon session with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Though the hearing has been extended by 24 hours, it is expected to resume at 6:50 p.m. Eastern time. The committee will be considering over 400 hours of submitted testimony on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
The entire process has been marred by sexual assault allegations made against the nominee. Multiple women have accused the nominee of sexual misconduct in the past. Some, including Julie Swetnick, have alleged Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct at parties while he was in high school. Kavanaugh, however, strongly denies the charges.
This morning, Swetnick, who recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show, delivered a statement accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while he was at a party in high school. Swetnick has never met Kavanaugh. “I will never forgive this man for what he has done to me and others,” Swetnick said in the statement. “If Brett Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court, rape and sexual assault will be winked at, instead of taken seriously. We need more women to come forward. We need to stop letting people of power cover up their assaults.”
The Judiciary Committee’s Chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), echoed Swetnick’s claims today, but maintained that he and his committee would be holding Kavanaugh accountable.
“The Republican Committee members of the Judiciary Committee spent all day reviewing this matter with the witnesses and their counsel,” Grassley said in a statement. “I share Dr. Swetnick’s outrage and am ready to hold the alleged perpetrator accountable.”
According to MSNBC, Republican senators will be seeking more specific information from Swetnick’s attorney.
CNN reported that Tuesday morning a group of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee met with their opposition — Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) — for “five hours” and agreed to take no further action on the nomination process. According to the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), it’s an affront to the ability of the hearing to take place.
Feinstein was quick to release the full hearing transcript today, after reviewing its contents for sensitive information. “Never will a statement make an already clear nominee less clearly who he is, and how qualified he is to serve,” Feinstein said in a statement, according to CNN.
The Judiciary Committee session comes just days after the California Democrat called for more answers from Swetnick.
“Judge Kavanaugh was already thoroughly vetted before the nomination, and we cannot wait any longer for the committee to hold him accountable for his past actions,” Feinstein said. “That means we need answers to the following questions: Is Brett Kavanaugh involved in or has he worked with any organized group or individuals seeking to silence women who have been victims of sexual assault or harassment? Has Brett Kavanaugh ever hosted, attended, or been present for such a gathering? Is Brett Kavanaugh aware of any incident where he or others tried to silence a woman for speaking out about sexual assault or harassment? What was your relationship with Judge Kavanaugh and Judge Whitaker in high school or during college? Did you ever see Brett Kavanaugh or any members of Judge Kavanaugh’s group seek to silence anyone who spoke out about sexual assault or harassment? How likely is it that you could have been drugged and raped while at a ‘Partner’ parties in high school or college, and if so, what happened to you, and why? Did Brett Kavanaugh ever offer to help us or your clients keep quiet about any incident during college? Did you ever receive, nor did you use, alcoholic beverages that Brett Kavanaugh or someone on his group that you knew gave you while you were intoxicated? Were you ever the victim of drinking-related assault or harassment?”