White House open to testimony by second Kavanaugh accuser

The White House is open to having Deborah Ramirez — the second woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct — testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday.

“Certainly we would be open to that, and that process could take place on Thursday,” Sanders said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

She also reiterated President Trump’s view that the confirmation process, which has been upended by sexual misconduct allegations, should wrap up soon.

“I do think it’s unfair to continue to drag the process out and continue to put good people through the ringer for the sake of political games the Democrats want to play,” Sanders said in another interview on Fox News.

Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has separately accused him of assaulting her in high school, are scheduled to testify Thursday before the committee.

Trump “has said a number of times these individuals should be heard,” Sanders said, noting that Kavanaugh has been “unequivocal in his denial” of sexual assault allegations.

She added: “This is a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty except when you’re a conservative Republican.”

Republicans have accused Democrats of a smear campaign by using the women’s accusations of misconduct by Kavanaugh in high school and college to try to derail his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, alleged in a New Yorker article that he exposed himself to her during a party when they were both freshmen.

In a Fox News interview late Monday, Kavanaugh strongly denied Ramirez’s and Ford’s allegations, adding that he would not “let false accusations drive us out of this process.”

Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have said they want to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination soon after the Thursday hearing.

Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has reached out to Ramirez through her lawyer, but there has been no indication yet that he is preparing to invite her to testify, according to the Washington Post.

Grassley also has resisted Democrats’ calls for an FBI probe into Ford’s allegations.

Sanders backed Grassley’s refusal to get the bureau involved, saying: “We have a process in place.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she would like to see Ramirez testify but has not specified when she would like to see that take place.

Some committee members have already cast doubt on Ramirez’s allegations.

On Monday, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) referred to her claim as “phony.”

When pressed on why he described it that way, Hatch responded: “Because I know it is. That’s why.”

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