Phil Bredesen, the Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), is still equivocating on how he would vote if he were in the U.S. Senate now and required to vote on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by President Trump to serve on the Supreme Court.
In contrast to Bredesen, his Republican opponent, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) remains fully in support of confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Late Wednesday, Bredesen told the Associated Press that Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her more than 35 years ago but has provided no corroborating evidence or witnesses, “has a very credible story .”
“But he said the Judiciary Committee should consider proceeding with a vote if she does not testify under oath,” the Associated Press reported, adding:
“She has put herself out there,” Bredesen said of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her while they were both in high school. “If she decided at this point to not do something, I guess the committee has to go ahead and say, ‘Well, we were willing to listen, but if she’s not willing to talk, we need to go forward.’” . . .
Bredesen has avoided saying whether he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh for the high court if he were in the Senate. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said the allegation against Kavanaugh, if true, is “close to being disqualifying, if not disqualifying.”
But Bredesen said hearing directly from Ford would have significant sway over his decision.
Bredesen said Ford’s uncorroborated allegations about an alleged incident that took place more than 35 years ago, which Ford did not mention to anyone until six years ago, and in which she did not identify Kavanaugh as the alleged perpetrator until just a few months ago, have already influenced his thinking about Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court.
“Even what she’s done so far would impact my thinking, but not nearly as much as if she sat there and I had a chance to question her,” Bredesen told the Associated Press.
Bredesen did not offer any comment on the news that his fellow Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has failed to provide her Republican colleagues on that committee with the original, unredacted letter sent to her by Professor Ford in July that outlined the allegations against Kavanaugh, as the Senate Judiciary Committee majority tweeted late Wednesday:
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 19, 2018
Ford initially said she would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but after Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) invited her tmo testify before the committee this coming Monday, Ford, through her attorney, said she would only testify before the committee after the FBI conducted an investigation into her allegations against Kavanaugh.
The FBI has repeatedly said it would not investigate those recent allegations into an incident that allegedly took place more than 35 years ago.
Judge Kavanaugh has accepted Grassley’s invitiation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, but it is now unclear whether those hearings will be held, in the event Ford fails to show up.