California Rep. Anna Eshoo (D), the lawmaker who first heard Christine Blasey Ford’s bombshell sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has roundly defended Blasey and called on the FBI to get involved.
Eshoo was the first member of Congress that the psychology professor, professionally known as Christine Blasey, approached. During a 90-minute meeting in July, Blasey alleged that a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both in high school in the 1980s. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, also heard about Blasey’s allegation, which was made public last week. Blasey came forward as Kavanaugh’s accuser in an interview on Sunday.
Blasey had initially resisted efforts to go on the record, and Eshoo told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the professor was “really terrified about what could become of her and her family.” Eshoo described Blasey as courageous and said she came away from that meeting believing her.
“It was more than obvious to me that she bore the scars of what she had been subjected to,” Eshoo told the Post, describing Blasey as “not having a political bone in her body.”
Eshoo continued: “At the end of the meeting, I told her that I believed her. In telling her story, you know, there were details to it, and I believed her.”
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations, and President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his support for the nominee, saying Wednesday that he felt “terribly” for him.
Republican lawmakers have meanwhile questioned the timing of Blasey’s revelations, asking why both Eshoo and Feinstein kept quiet about the claims for months. But top GOP senators agreed to hear from both Kavanaugh and Blasey on Monday. Democrats, however, have accused their colleagues of rushing into a hearing, calling on the Justice Department to investigate Blasey’s allegations before Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeds.
Blasey’s lawyers have also accused Republicans of acting in bad faith.
“The Committee’s stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding,” Blasey’s lawyer Lisa Banks said in a statement to the Post on Wednesday. “The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth.”
Eshoo told the Post that despite Kavanaugh’s “excellent credentials … character matters.”
“She’s a courageous woman, and she has come forward for all the right reasons,” the lawmaker told The Mercury News. “What I’d like to see more than anything else is that she be treated with the respect that she should have — and that there not be a rush to judgment but a transparent process that really seeks the truth.”