Charlie Baker: Kavanaugh Accusations “Are Sickening and Deserve an Independent Investigation”

The governor says the Senate should delay its vote on the nominee.

Photo via AP/Steven Senne

Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday called the accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh “sickening” and said the Senate should not vote on the Supreme Court nominee this week.

“The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation,” the Republican wrote in a tweet. “There should be no vote in the Senate.”

His comments came as both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, prepared to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Baker has said previously that the allegations against Kavanaugh should be investigated before a vote is taken, but has declined to say whether he believes Ford. In a back-and-forth with the Boston Globe this week, he would say only that “[W]hen people make allegations like this they deserve to be heard.”

He later clarified in front of reporters on Thursday: “I believe Professor Ford.”

As a self-styled moderate who has achieved a bullet-proof approval rating and promising poll numbers in deep-blue Massachusetts, Baker has shown a willingness to buck his own party’s whims in Washington, where the GOP has been vigorously defending Kavanaugh. He’s also facing a challenge from Democrat Jay Gonzalez in an election this year. Gonzalez has sought to tie the governor to President Trump, pointing to his support for pro-Trump Senate candidate Geoff Diehl. Diehl has said he is sticking by Judge Kavanaugh, dismissing her claims as politically motivated.

Democratic leadership in Massachusetts have joined their colleagues in Washington in calling either for Ford’s allegations to be investigated by the FBI or for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.