Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is among four Republican governors who are calling on the U.S. Senate to delay a confirmation vote on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until there’s an independent investigation of whether he committed one or more sexual assaults while in high school in the 1980s.
Hogan is advocating for the Senate to “slow down until there’s a full investigation,” his spokeswoman, Amelia Chasse, said Thursday. She added that Hogan, the GOP governor of a blue state, is not asking any specific agency to investigate, but believes the investigation should be conducted by an entity outside the Senate.
Hogan this week said in an interview that he was disgusted by the allegations against Kavanaugh and deemed them “credible.”
“It’s very disturbing. It gives me great pause. There are credible charges and big concerns. They need to be heard,” Hogan said. “They ought to take whatever time it takes to make sure these accusers are heard and he has a chance to respond to them.”
Other Republican governors urging a delay are Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, John Kasich of Ohio and Phil Scott of Vermont.
“The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation,” Baker tweeted Thursday. “There should be no vote in the Senate.”
Kasich, too, urged delay.
“In the absence of a complete and thorough investigation, and hearing from all parties involved, moving this nomination forward would be a mistake,” he said in a statement.
Scott argued that if the U.S. Senate confirms Kavanaugh without an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, “it will cast a dark cloud over the Senate, the court, and our nation.”
Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, on Thursday denied allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when both were high school students and angrily told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Democrats were engaged in "a calculated and orchestrated political hit."
"You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit, never," said Kavanaugh, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Ford told the senators earlier Thursday that she was "100 percent" certain a drunken, young Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothes and clapped a hand over her mouth as she tried to yell for help.
Hogan last week declined to order the Maryland State Police to investigate allegations against the judge in Montgomery County, where Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Prep, a private school for boys.
Hogan was asked at a news conference about a letter from Democratic state Sen. Cheryl Kagan of Montgomery. She urged Hogan to direct the state police to act because the White House has not ordered the FBI to look into the allegations made by Ford.
Chasse said Hogan does not personally order law enforcement investigations. She said politicians ordering police investigations would set a “dangerous precedent.”
Since then, more allegations have been leveled against the judge. Lawyer Michael Avenatti said he represents a woman with information about additional sexual assaults during parties attended by Kavanaugh in high school. Avenatti urged the U.S. Senate to investigate.
Eleven state delegates from Montgomery County have called on local police and prosecutors to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Montgomery County police have said it's not their practice to investigate crimes when they have not received a complaint.
Democrat Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president who is running against Hogan, said in a statement that “our leaders have an obligation not only to believe women when they bring up accusations but to enact systemic change.”
“Any system of governance that would rush to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, who has now been accused by several women of sexual assault and misconduct, without first seeking the truth needs to change,” Jealous said.