DNC chair calls for Kavanaugh probe as questions about Ellison’s alleged abuse remain unanswered


Peter Hasson, DCNF

  • DNC chair Tom Perez called for an investigation into a sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
  • Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to force himself on her while the two were in high school
  • Perez and the DNC have avoided taking a position on a domestic abuse accusation against Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the DNC

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez on Sunday said that a sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “must be investigated thoroughly.”

Perez’s statement comes as the DNC remains evasive about a domestic abuse allegation against Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the DNC.

Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh on Sunday of drunkenly trying to force himself on her at a party when they were in high school — an allegation Kavanaugh has denied.

Ford’s public accusation came two days after The New Yorker reported the substance of her claim but did not name her as the accuser.

“This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land & this serious allegation must be investigated thoroughly,” Perez said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“The American people deserve answers, not a vote that is rammed through by Republicans. There is too much at stake,” Perez added. His statement came after an earlier version of this article noted the DNC’s silence on the Kavanaugh allegation.

The allegation against Kavanaugh puts the DNC in an awkward position, as Perez has avoided saying whether he believes Ellison or Ellison’s accuser.

Ellison is accused of physically and emotionally abusing his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan. Like Kavanaugh, Ellison denied the accusation against him.

The DNC announced on Aug. 14 — just hours before Ellison won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota attorney general — that it would be “reviewing” the Ellison accusation.

But the committee has yet to announce the results of its review and Perez has since deferred to an investigation by the party’s Minnesota arm, the Democratic Farmer-Labor party (DFL).

The DNC has aggressively advocated against Kavanaugh’s confirmation but steered clear of the sexual misconduct accusation until Perez’s tweet.

DNC deputy communications chair Sabrina Singh did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the Kavanaugh allegation.

Like the DNC, the DFL has remained elusive about the details of its Ellison investigation — for example, who exactly is running the investigation, how they’re conducting it and what the status of the probe is.

DFL communications director Ellen Perrault did not return repeated requests for comment on the status of the DFL investigation.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist independent widely expected to run for president as a Democrat in 2020, called on the Senate to postpone voting on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until a full investigation has been completed.

“The allegation from Professor Christine Blasey Ford is a serious one that deserves a full investigation. Neither the Judiciary Committee nor the full Senate should vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court until that takes place,” Sanders wrote on Twitter.

Sanders’ quickness to lend credibility to the accusation against Kavanaugh makes for a clear contrast with his treatment of the accusation against Ellison, one of the senator’s closest political allies.

Sanders said he has “nothing” to say about the Ellison allegation when asked on Aug. 16 and has remained tight-lipped on the issue since then.

The Democratic push to postpone Kavanaugh’s confirmation comes less than two months before the 2018 midterm elections.

Democrats have about a one-in-three chance of retaking the Senate and are strong favoritesto retake the House of Representatives in November, according to FiveThirtyEight.

This article has been updated to note Perez’s statement on Sunday

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson
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