Top Grassley aide fuels fight over Kavanaugh accuser

A top Senate Judiciary Committee staffer gave critics of the panel’s efforts to speedily confirm Brett Kavanaugh more ammo Thursday, after suggesting that the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation was already in the bag.

“Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh. #ConfirmKavanaugh #SCOTUS,” Mike Davis, the panel’s top staffer for judicial nominations, tweeted late Wednesday, Roll Call reported.

Hours later, he tweeted again, complaining that lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford — who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school drinking party in the 1980s — were too busy making the media rounds to respond to committee chair Chuck Grassley’s invitation to testify at a hearing on Monday.

“I personally questioned Judge Kavanaugh under penalty of felony and 5 years of imprisonment, if he lies. I’m still waiting to hear back from the accuser’s attorneys, who can’t find time between TV appearances to get back to me,” Davis wrote.

Ford’s lawyers and Democrats on the panel have charged that Monday’s hearing — in which only Ford and Kavanaugh would face questioning — was a sham.

They want an FBI investigation and other witnesses questioned before Ford appears or a vote is scheduled on President Trump’s nominee — requests Grassley and the president have rejected.

Davis deleted the tweets and temporarily locked his account after Democrats and others slammed his posts.

“This is one of Chuck Grassley’s lawyers who wants to interrogate Dr. Blasey Ford. Does he sound unbiased to you?” tweeted Brian Fallon, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Adam Jentleson, a former top aide to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, wrote that the GOP-led committee was determined to sweep Ford’s accusations under the rug and confirm Kavanaugh.

“Grassley and his staff are not making a good faith effort to get the facts — they’re on a mission to confirm their boy, no matter what,” tweeted Jentleson, now head of public affairs at Democracy Forward.

A top Twitter wag identified as Mrs. Betty Bowers also piled on.

“These wildly inappropriate tweets (since locked) by Mike Davis, Senator Grassley’s Chief Counsel, prove why Senate doesn’t want FBI involved. Their ‘investigation’ is a sham. They will only ‘pretend’ to listen to Dr. Ford’s allegations of attempted rape,” the poster wrote.

Davis later unlocked his account and tweeted a defense of his deleted posts — blaming “left wing media” for the controversy.

“To clear up any confusion, I was referring to Democrats’ partisan political attacks and their refusal to take part in the committee’s thorough and fair investigation. I deleted the tweet to avoid any further misinterpretation by left wing media as so often happens on Twitter,” he wrote.

The tweets were a contrast to Grassley’s public statements.

He told reporters Wednesday that the panel was “doing everything we can to make Dr. Ford comfortable with coming before our committee, either in an open session or a closed session, or a public or a private interview.”

Other Republicans said they were forging ahead in their drive to push Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate, even as Ford threatened to boycott the committee hearing and suggested she was not being treated with “fairness and respect.”

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied Ford’s accusations, and got strong backing from Trump on Wednesday, with the president saying he was a great man and that it was hard for him to believe that the allegations could be true.

But Democrats have sprung to Ford’s defense, with Washington state Sen. Patty Murray saying Thursday that Republicans should be “ashamed” for pushing forward without a fair investigation.

“If you have been assaulted or harassed by a powerful Republican man, you better not talk about it or you’re going to pay a price,” Murray said.

With AP

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