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Chuck Schumer: Brett Kavanaugh accuser should testify in person

Schumer, in an appearance in Elmont, said the U.S. Senate should hear formal testimony from the woman who has accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault.

Sen. Chuck Schumer in Washington on Aug. 21.

Sen. Chuck Schumer in Washington on Aug. 21. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Zach Gibson

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Monday the Senate should hear formal testimony from a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, dismissing objections that to do so would unfairly delay Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, also said the Senate Judiciary Committee should meet face-to-face with Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford, a California research psychologist.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said he wants to hear Ford, saying standard procedure is to follow up phone calls when a nominee’s confirmation hearing already has taken place.

"Both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh said they would testify before the committee after the background check; they should do that," Schumer said, during a visit to an Elmont American Legion post.

"It's a much better way than a conference call because you get to hear what they say, you get to judge their credibility," Schumer said. "And when the FBI does it, they do it better than anyone else."

"Leader McConnell delayed Merrick Garland's hearing for a year. I think we can afford a few weeks to get this resolved."

Schumer was referring to former president Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. McConnell declared shortly after Scalia's death that any appointment by Obama was null and void, and that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

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