Senator Collins: Kavanaugh’s 2nd accuser should be allowed to testify

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, walks on Capitol Hill, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Washington. Her vote is considered crucial to getting Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, walks on Capitol Hill, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 in Washington. Her vote is considered crucial to getting Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says the 2nd woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct should be interviewed under oath.

Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a party. Kavanaugh denies the allegation, calling it “a smear, plain and simple.”

Collins says investigators on the Senate Judiciary Committee should reach out to Ramirez for an interview. That interview would be separate from Thursday’s hearing with Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school. Kavanaugh denies both allegations.

Collins is considered a key swing vote on Kavanaugh. If she and another Republican oppose him, his nomination is likely to fail.

Collins says she has “not made a decision” about whether to vote for Kavanaugh. She says the hearing Thursday “is an important one.”

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for Kavanaugh’s confirmation process to be halted after Ramirez’s accusation was published in The New Yorker. She said the FBI should investigate.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is asking why Democrats didn’t bring forward the allegations earlier, saying, “It’s strange how at the last minute all these accusations come up.”

President Donald Trump is standing by his Supreme Court nominee.

Trump told reporters Monday after signing a new trade agreement with South Korea at the United Nations General Assembly in New York that “we hope he is going to be confirmed.”

Trump adds, “It would be sad indeed if something happened to reroute that.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Kavanaugh will receive an up-or-down vote in the Senate “in the near future.”

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