Sen. Patrick Leahy is accusing Senate Republican leaders of trying to block an investigation into the facts around allegations of sexual assault that have been brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Leahy, who serves as the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been urging Committee Chairman Charles Grassley to call for an FBI investigation of allegations made by professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s.
Grassley has rejected Leahy's request for such an investigation.
"I'm disappointed, and of course if Sen. Grassley requested it, they would do an investigation,” said Leahy.
Leahy said Republican leaders in the Senate are trying to prevent the facts from being known; he said it’s the worst example of partisan judicial politics he has ever seen.
"If they don't want to follow what has been done for decades — where you have allegations like this and both parties say, 'well let's get to the bottom of it' — if they want to cover it up, they have the ability to do so," Leahy said. "We've never had a case where one side has tried to block the other side in asking these questions."
Leahy is also asking the White House if the Trump administration knew about these allegations weeks ago.
"What I want to know is, 'what did they know and when did they know it?'" said Leahy. “It's a simple enough question. And so far the Republicans are trying to block us finding out what did they know and when did they know it."
And Leahy said the answer to this question could have a huge impact on Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"That'd make a huge difference, because if they knew about this weeks ago and had not brought it forward in his background, then you have to ask, 'what else are they covering up?'” said Leahy.
At this time, both Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, but many details about the hearing still need to be worked out.