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Washington and Idaho lawmakers remain unchanged on Kavanaugh

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 25, 2018

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, on the second day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, on the second day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Following another allegation of sexual impropriety against President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, members of Congress who represent the Inland Northwest haven’t budged on their respective positions.

Sen. Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement he wants to hear from Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, before making any decisions.

“Dr. Ford’s accusation should be taken seriously, investigated and properly heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Crapo said. “The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the accusation, which includes hearing from Dr. Ford. Chairman [Chuck] Grassley has offered Dr. Ford an opportunity to address the committee in any format, venue or location she wishes, including privately.

“I hope that Dr. Ford will accept Chairman Grassley’s good faith invitation so that members of the committee can hear from her directly as the confirmation process continues.”

Crapo is not alone. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is also waiting to hear from Ford.

“The Judiciary Committee is working to hear from all parties and gather the relevant facts. Senator Risch will have a comment after we hear their findings,” wrote Kaylin Minton, Risch’s spokeswoman.

Attempts to contact Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, were unsuccessful, but in previous statements he’s offered strong support for Kavanaugh’s nomination to the nation’s highest court.

“Brett Kavanaugh is poised to join Neil Gorsuch as President Trump’s 2nd successful #SCOTUS nominee,” he wrote on Twitter earlier this month, adding that President Trump “is keeping his solemn promise to nominate judges who properly apply our Constitution.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers called the allegations against Kavanaugh “serious,” and said the Senate’s confirmation process would help determine the truth.

“These are serious allegations. As I’ve always said, they need to be taken seriously, and women deserve to be heard,” she said in a statement. “Judge Kavanaugh also deserves due process and an opportunity to defend his character. We need the facts and the truth. That’s what Thursday’s Senate hearing is and should be about.”

On the other side of aisle, the Democratic federal delegation remains united against Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Last week, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., pressed her colleagues to fully investigate Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh, and warned the Senate not to repeat the mistakes of the past, referring to Clarence Thomas’ confirmation following testimony by Anita Hill.

“How the Senate handles this and the Senate Republicans handle this will be a test of this time, of 2018, in the #MeToo movement,” Murray said Sunday on “Meet the Press.” “Congress failed the test in 1991 with Anita Hill, that they could deal with this kind of allegation. And they have to be able to deal with this kind of allegation if we are going to be putting people on the highest court in the land.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., joined Murray in opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Late Sunday night Cantwell took to Twitter after the New Yorker magazine reported another accusation, this one from Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate, Deborah Ramirez.

“We need a nonpartisan investigation into the facts and information, which could help the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate understand exactly what transpired. This is too important to rush,” Cantwell said.

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