WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined NPR Morning Edition to discuss the status of the Kavanaugh nomination.

“It's important to keep reminding your listeners that this is what happens in every federal nomination to a lifetime appointment to the judiciary. First,” said Senator Coons. “Second, that is what happened in the case now several decades ago where Professor Hill came forward with allegations. The White House directed the FBI to conduct an investigation. They did so in a matter of several days and, ultimately, that hearing at 20 witnesses.  It's not unreasonable to expect the FBI to do its job here.”

Audio and video available here 

Excerpts from the interview are below:

Sen. Coons on the second allegation against Judge Kavanaugh: I am now joining Senator Feinstein and other Democrats in the Committee in calling on Chairman Grassley, again, to have the FBI conduct an appropriate background investigation on both of these alarming allegations from Deborah Ramirez about Judge Kavanaugh's alleged misdeeds at a party at Yale College and Christine Blasey Ford for her allegations of sexual assault at a high school party. 

More on Ramirez: That's exactly why I think professionals who do background investigations, who interview witnesses, who assess evidence for every federal court nominee should be the folks doing the fact finding initially and then present their conclusions to the Judiciary Committee before we hear from both witnesses. It is my hope that Deborah Ramirez would also come forward to the Judiciary Committee and testify, but it's important for us to remember, this is not a criminal trial. Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez are not on trial. What's at stake here is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and I think it's important that the Senators on the Judiciary Committee and all of the Senators who are charged with advising and consenting to any nomination take our time, take this seriously, and show the American people that we can treat credibly and respectfully allegations of sexual assault.

More on the FBI investigation: They may not want it to happen, but I think it's important to keep reminding your listeners that this is what happens in every federal nomination to a lifetime appointment to the judiciary. First. Second, that is what happened in the case now several decades ago where Professor Hill came forward with allegations. The White House directed the FBI to conduct an investigation. They did so in a matter of several days and, ultimately, that hearing at 20 witnesses.  It's not unreasonable to expect the FBI to do its job here.

Sen. Coons on whether his vote could change: I publicly said I will vote against Judge Kavanaugh based on his extreme views as a judge about presidential power. These additional allegations are gravely concerning, but after his confirmation hearing I concluded I could not support him for the Supreme Court.

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