Cameron Joseph contributed reporting.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford, who on Sunday publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, have been called to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday, committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced Monday.
That means the committee’s scheduled Thursday vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation has been delayed.
Grassley said in a statement: “As I said earlier, anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard. My staff has reached out to Dr. Ford to hear her account, and they held a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon. Unfortunately, committee Democrats have refused to join us in this effort.”
“However, to provide ample transparency, we will hold a public hearing Monday to give these recent allegations a full airing,” Grassley said.
Still, Democrats have called for the FBI to complete a full investigation into Ford’s allegations before the confirmation process proceeds.
“If we fail to do it before the hearing, we’re going to be shooting in the dark,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said in an MSNBC interview, responding to the news about the invitations to testify Monday. “We literally will be asking questions with blindfolds on.”
A spokesperson for committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said her office was caught off guard with Grassley’s announcement.
“No one told us,” the spokesperson told NBC News. “Another rush job.”
This post has been updated.