After facing pressure from state legislators, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has joined three other Republican governors in calling for the U.S. Senate to delay their vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, until sexual misconduct allegations against the judge have been investigated.
Three women have said they experienced sexual misconduct from Kavanaugh, who was nominated in July to replace retiring associate justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh has denied every accusation.
“There are credible charges and big concerns. They need to be heard,” Hogan said on Tuesday, according to Politico. “They ought to take whatever time it takes to make sure these accusers are heard and he has a chance to respond to them.”
Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Kavanaugh’s testimony followed. The committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Friday morning.
Hogan joins fellow Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, John Kasich of Ohio and Phil Scott of Vermont in calling for a delay in voting.
Last week, Democratic state Sen. Cheryl Kagan wrote a letter urging Hogan to have the state police investigate the allegations. Kagan represents part of Montgomery County, which is where Kavanaugh currently lives, and where Ford and fellow accuser Julie Swetnick say Kavanaugh assaulted them.
Kagan cited HB1342, a law signed by Hogan earlier this year that’s meant to prevent sexual harassment and reinforce anti-harassment policies. Among the law’s stipulations is that complaints about harassment from members of the General Assembly be referred to an investigator.
“[Ford] deserves the basic fairness she has been denied, and you have the power to give it to her, ” Kagan wrote. “A narrow partisan agenda should never trump basic fairness.”
When asked Friday about Kagan’s proposal, Hogan — who did not know about the letter — said “the Maryland State Police will not be getting involved in this,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
On Tuesday, 11 state delegates from Montgomery County called on local police and prosecutors to investigate the claims against Kavanaugh. The delegates wrote a letter to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, State’s Attorney John McCarthy and lawyers Debra Katz and Michael Avenatti, asking officials to start an investigation without a victim complaint.
That day, Hogan said the court should slow down the nomination process, according to the Sun.
“It’s very disturbing. It gives me great pause. There are credible charges and big concerns. They need to be heard,” Hogan told the Sun. “They ought to take whatever time it takes to make sure these accusers are heard and he has a chance to respond to them.”
The first accusation came from Ford, who said Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, his Georgetown Preparatory School classmate, assaulted her in a bedroom at a party in 1982, according to USA Today.
In a confidential July 30 letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), Ford wrote that Kavanaugh locked her in a bedroom and played loud music, “precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.”
“Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with Judge, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state,” the letter reads. “With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.”
The second woman to come forward was Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh. She claims that Kavanaugh exposed his penis and then tried to shove it in her face at a dorm party during their freshman year, USA Today reported.
The third, Julie Swetnick, alleges that Kavanaugh was present at a party where Swetnick was gang-raped, and that he tried to get women drunk at several social gatherings, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kavanaugh has denied all accusations.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said in a statement made after Ford’s allegation.
During the hearing Thursday, Ford said she felt it was her civic duty to relay information of her alleged assault.
“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified,” she said in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
At the hearing, Kavanaugh again denied the allegations, claiming the confirmation process had become “a national disgrace.”
“This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades,” he said. “This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people, of all political persuasions, from serving our country.”