Last night Palmer Report pointed out that several Senate Democrats were pushing for the FBI to investigate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s attempted rape accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. We pointed out that there were a number of possible reasons behind this strategy, and that we weren’t entirely sure where it was going, but that it was leading up to something. Sure enough, now we have our answer.
Moments ago CNN reported that Ford is now asking the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh, and that she’s not willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee until the FBI investigates the matter. Obviously that kind of investigative work can’t be completed by Monday, which is when Senate Republicans are asking her to testify. By making this move, Ford is backing the Republicans – and Kavanaugh – into a no-win corner.
If the Republicans try to move forward without Ford’s testimony, they’ll be seen as having denied her due process, and as having tried to effectively silence her. This could be a bridge too far even for them, because public backlash would be unprecedented and explosive. On the other hand, if the Senate Republicans do ask the FBI to investigate, it’ll result in significantly delayed hearings, and – depending on what the FBI finds – the very real possibility that Kavanaugh could end up criminally indicted.
So even as Senate Republicans are left trying to decide tonight how to handle this, Brett Kavanaugh is left chewing on the reality that if he pushes forward with his nomination, he could end up in prison instead. Kavanaugh will now have to seriously think about withdrawing. If Kavanaugh were to drop out right now, it sounds like Ford wouldn’t pursue a criminal investigation. She’s calling his bluff and raising the stakes about as high as they can go.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report