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Murkowski wants Senate panel to hear from second Kavanaugh accuser

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a key swing vote on the nomination for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh...

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 4:41 AM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 4:41 AM

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a key swing vote on the nomination for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, suggested Tuesday that Deborah Ramirez, whose accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior against Kavanaugh were reported by The New Yorker, should talk to Congress.

When asked by a reporter whether she believed the allegations against Kavanaugh were credible, she responded: "How can I base the credibility based on just what I read coming out of you all?"

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"If there are allegations out there, Miss Ramirez needs to be willing to come forward with them and just as Dr. Ford has been willing to come forward, albeit reluctantly, and I understand that is so, and so in order for us to take it under consideration, she needs to take the next step," she said. "I don't know if she has, but I do think that is important."

Republicans can confirm Kavanaugh without any Democratic votes but with the GOP controlling the chamber 51 seats to 49, Republicans can only afford to lose one GOP vote and still advance his nomination. As one of the more moderate senators, Murkowski -- along with Maine Sen. Susan Collins -- is among the most watched members related to Kavanaugh's nomination.

Murkowski was responding to a new allegation from Ramirez, who told The New Yorker in a story published on Sunday that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party when they were both students at Yale University. CNN has not independently confirmed The New Yorker's reporting. Ramirez's two attorneys have not responded to CNN's multiple requests to confirm the account she gave to The New Yorker, and Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

This comes after Kavanaugh is set to face an accusation from Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who is also set to testify, that he pushed her into a bedroom, pinned her down, held his hand over her mouth as she tried to scream and attempted to remove her clothes when they were both in high school in the early 1980s. The judge has categorically denied that allegation as well.

When asked earlier Tuesday whether there should be a full FBI investigation into allegations from Kavanaugh's past, Murkowski responded, "It would sure clear up all the questions, wouldn't it?"

The Alaska senator, who still hasn't decided how she'll vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, told CNN on Friday she plans to wait until after Thursday's testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh before deciding whether to back his nomination.

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