Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday he believes Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers. Baker underscored his call for an independent investigation of claims against the nominee. And he said without an investigation, the federal judge would not be fit for a spot on the nation’s highest court.
“I said that there should be a formal investigation, an independent formal investigation. And I said that because I believe Professor Ford,” Baker said.
“That investigation needs to happen before anybody votes on anything,” he told reporters Thursday. If people “don’t do the investigation, I don’t believe that he would be fit for the job because this is a critical issue that’s been raised and it deserves to be investigated.”
Kavanaugh strongly denies Ford’s claim, as well as accusations of sexual misconduct from other women. Ford testified before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday. Kavanaugh did the same.
Baker, a Republican, faces Democrat Jay Gonzalez in this November’s gubernatorial election. Gonzalez has knocked Baker for not taking what Gonzalez frames as a strong enough stance against Kavanaugh being confirmed.
On Wednesday, Baker said no vote should be taken on the judge’s nomination until claims against Kavanaugh are investigated by an outside entity. He did not directly answer questions about Kavanaugh’s fitness for the Supreme Court or whether he believes Ford.
Senate GOP leaders have scheduled a committee vote on the nomination for Friday and have dismissed calls for an FBI investigation into claims against the judge.
Other Republican chief executives of Democratic states are striking a similar tone to the one Baker took Thursday. A spokeswoman for Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, also up for re-election this year, said Hogan “doesn’t think the nomination should proceed until and unless there is a full investigation into the allegations.”
And Governor Phil Scott of Vermont, up for re-election as well, urged the Senate to require an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.
“A decision of this magnitude must be informed with all the facts in hand,” Scott said in a statement. “Without those facts, the process should not move forward.”
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Joshua Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.