(JTA) — Alan Dershowitz called for delaying the vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination until the FBI can investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against the nominee.
Dershowitz, an advocate of President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh, offered his views in an op-ed published Friday on Fox News hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee was to vote on the confirmation and possibly send the nomination to the full Senate. Three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, miring the nomination in controversy.
Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the allegations.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to slow down and postpone its vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court until the FBI can investigate accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him by three women,” Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, wrote.
On Thursday, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, and the judge delivered emotional testimony on Capitol Hill before the committee. Ford said she was “100 percent sure” that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh said he was “100 percent sure” he is innocent.
In his op-ed, Dershowitz lamented that the decision of the narrowly divided Senate “will be based largely on the political dispositions of senators rather than on any desire to arrive at objective truth.”
By contrast, he wrote, “Accusations as serious as those made by Ford and others against Kavanaugh — which allege he was guilty of criminal conduct — should not stand without clear and convincing evidence of their truth in a nation where the courts presume an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. An FBI investigation might provide more evidence – either favorable or unfavorable to Kavanaugh.”
A full and thorough FBI investigation and further testimony, wrote Dershowitz, would also address what he called a “credibility tie.” Such ties, he wrote, “are best resolved by looking at corroborating evidence.”
Dershowitz also likened the controversy to a joke in which a rabbi is presented with two compelling arguments by quarreling spouses. The rabbi tells each of the spouses that their arguments are valid. When a student points out that they both can’t be telling the truth, the rabbi says, “My student, you’re right too.”
Before the vote, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., made a motion that Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, should be subpoenaed as a witness to appear before the committee. Ford alleged that Judge was in the room during her 1982 assault.
Blumenthal acknowledged that Judge, now an author and journalist, had sent a “cursory six-sentence” letter with a statement denying any recollection of the incident. The motion was defeated on a party-line vote.
Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick, who is Jewish, stepped forward this week, alleging that he engaged in sexual misconduct as a high schooler. Swetnick is represented by Michael Avenatti, who also represents the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who is suing the president over an alleged affair.
In his Senate testimony, Kavanaugh called Swetnick’s allegations a “farce.”