Utah politicians and groups release statements on FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh

UTAH -- Utah politicians and other groups weighed in on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday after Republicans called for a one-week delay so that the FBI can investigate sexual assault allegations facing President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Senator Orrin Hatch released the following statement on the delay, saying he believed it was "appropriate" to move forward with his confirmation, but he supported a limited investigation:

“While I personally believe it is appropriate to proceed with Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation at this time, I recognize that some members feel that additional investigation could be useful. I support the decision for an investigation limited in length and scope as described today. This will address the concerns raised by Senator Flake and others while also being fair to the Kavanaugh family.”

Senator Mike Lee released the following statement, supporting the investigation:

“The Senate Judiciary Committee completed a professional investigation of Dr. Ford’s allegation this week. But since some of my colleagues believe one more week of FBI investigation will bring us closer to truth I support that investigation and I look forward to voting for Judge Kavanaugh soon.”

Jenny Wilson, who is running against Republican Mitt Romney for the Senate, released the following statement:

"It is imperative that the FBI spend the next week conducting a thorough, transparent, and unbiased investigation in to each of the sexual assault allegations against #kavanaugh before a lifetime appointment is made to the highest court in our land.
Furthermore, I am dismayed by the aggression of Sen. Hatch and silence of Gov. Romney as these allegations were revealed by credible women. I wonder how either of these two men fathom themselves qualified to represent Utah - a state for which the violent crime of rape occurs at a higher rate than the rest of our nation (Source: http://www.health.utah.gov/vipp/topics/rape-sexual-assault/).

Mitt Romney tweeted about the investigation Friday evening:

Katie Matheson, communications director at Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement:

Katie Matheson, communications director at Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement:

“Over the past 48 hours, Utahns have watched as our friends, family members, and co-workers have spoken up and shared their deeply personal stories of sexual assault in solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford. We as a society are facing a reckoning as we hear these stories from brave women and men who are laying bare some of the darkest moments in their lives.

“Over the past two weeks, Senators Hatch and Lee have loudly reaffirmed the same message they sent in 2016 when they ultimately supported then-nominee and accused sexual harasser and assaulter, Donald Trump. In response, we once again strongly state that the career ambitions of a man and an unwavering loyalty to partisan goals should not take precedence over the very real experiences of survivors.

“While this behavior from our Senators is not unexpected, it is nonetheless deeply disappointing. We can only imagine the experience survivors across our state are facing as this issue is once again brought into the national spotlight, and as we once again watch our leaders fail to value the trauma of sexual assault survivors, many of them women, above the aspirations of a powerful man.

“Today, we speak directly to the many Utahns who are survivors of sexual assault--we stand with you, we hear you, we believe you.”

Mormon Women for Ethical Government released the following statement:

Today we heard two credible witnesses offer contradictory testimonies. In his final remarks, Senate Judiciary Committee member, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said the following:

“The process is imperfect, but it's the best the Judiciary Committee can do. . . . In the end there is likely to be as much doubt as certainty going out of this room today."

The Judiciary Committee can, in fact, do better. They are the body charged with determining the fitness of a nominee, and this is within their power. We continue to maintain that an independent investigation must explore these very serious allegations levied against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Committee member Senator Coons (D-Delaware) suggested a one week pause before the vote while the FBI background check on Judge Kavanaugh is reopened. This should satisfy those who claim that the Democrats are merely wanting to delay the vote unnecessarily. If Judge Kavanaugh is indeed innocent of these charges, as he persists in claiming that he is, then he should welcome an independent investigation that could clear his name.

We have very specifically urged the four members of the committee who share our faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–Senator Hatch, Senator Crapo, Senator Lee, and Senator Flake–to ensure that every attempt be made to ascertain the truth of the situation. Yet it appears that the Senate Judiciary Committee may be moving forward with a vote on Friday morning without further investigation.

If this happens, we believe Senator Flake is correct that, without further independent investigation, there will always be doubt as to Judge Kavanaugh's character and judgment. We therefore urge the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against moving this confirmation forward.

This doubt will follow Judge Kavanaugh through his tenure as a lifetime member of the court and will have significant repercussions on the public's confidence in the legitimacy of his judicial opinions, particularly those which specifically concern women. We believe that it is imperative that we protect the integrity of both the court and the process. No one of any political party should want less, particularly not when it is still within the hands of the Republican majority to confirm a more suitable replacement.

At the same time, we also boldly declare that revelations of sexual misconduct should not be strategically employed by politicians for political purposes. Elected officials of all parties and ideological persuasions should value sexual ethics for their inherent importance and not for their utility in attacking political opponents.

At some point someone leaked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's letter against her will and despite promises of confidentiality made to her; this was deeply unethical. However, that should not be used to discredit the testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford in and of itself. Nor does the willingness of some politicians to use her allegation for political purposes mean that these allegations themselves should not be treated with utmost seriousness and investigated thoroughly.

We reaffirm our belief that sexual assault must not be normalized or condoned in any way or by anyone, especially those in positions of leadership or influence. We expect our civic leaders to demand the highest standards of behavior from those who wish to attain the highest positions of power. We must ensure beyond any doubt that only those with exceptional and unassailable character and judgment are permitted to wield the power and privileges inherent in the highest offices in the land.

This article will be updated as additional statements become available.