Following the release of a sworn affidavit containing new sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Patrick Leahy and his fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling on President Donald Trump to either withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination or launch an FBI investigation into the allegations of misconduct and assault.
In a letter to the president on Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats wrote "the standard of character and fitness for a position on the nation's highest court must be higher than this."
The letter goes on to say that Kavanaugh has "issued blanket denials of any possible misconduct, but those declarations are in serious doubt."
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday with Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford.
Leahy said the confirmation process cannot proceed without a thorough investigation.
"What we have had is very, very troubling. It goes into Judge Kavanaugh's veracity," said Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I think you have to have all the facts come out and then judge them."
He has also denounced the decision by Republicans for the committee to hold its scheduled vote on Friday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is not a member of the Judiciary Committee, but he did issue a statement on Twitter that reiterated the demands outlined in the committee's letter.
Trump and Judge Kavanaugh have two options. Trump can withdraw Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. Or Kavanaugh himself can call for an FBI investigation if he truly believes the allegations are false.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 26, 2018
Rep. Peter Welch also released a statement Wednesday, in which he too echoed the course of action called for by Vermont's senators:
"If President Trump and Judge Kavanaugh refuse to ask for an FBI investigation of these serious and credible allegations, his nomination should be immediately withdrawn. He simply cannot serve on the highest court in America."