With confirmation hearings delayed, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) offered a defense of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid a claim of sexual assault.
"I don't know all the details of this allegation that has surfaced, nor does anybody here on the Hill,” Portman said. “But I do know Brett Kavanaugh. I know him well."
Christine Blasey Ford recently accused Kavanaugh of assault at a party in the early 1980s, when they were high school students. Ford initially sent a confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July, and Feinstein said she submitted that information to the FBI.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
“I think it is deeply disappointing that Senate Democrats withheld this information which they had until the 11th hour,” Portman said. “By the way, Judge Kavanaugh has been thoroughly vetted by our process but also by the FBI on six different occasions throughout his decades of public service, and no such allegation ever emerged."
Portman was one of three people to introduce Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has fallen in line with fellow Republicans in defending Trump's nominee. However, Portman says he supports a hearing in which both Kavanaugh and Ford can tell their stories.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) agrees with Senators on both sides of the aisle that the committee should take the time it needs to investigate.
An open hearing featuring Kavanaugh and Ford is now scheduled for Monday, September 24.