Republican Sen. Susan Collins, whose vote was crucial in confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said she believes his accuser was sexually assaulted but doesn’t think he was the one responsible.
“I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview scheduled to air on Sunday. “I do believe that she was assaulted. I don’t know by whom. I’m not certain when.”
Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California, accused Kavanaugh of groping her during a high school party in 1982.
The FBI conducted a supplemental investigation into Kavanaugh’s background but found no one who could corroborate her account.
Senators were able to view the report that was available only in a secure setting on the Capitol.
Collins of Maine said Ford’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was “heart-wrenching” but added that Kavanaugh also passionately denied her accusations.
“I found Dr. Ford’s testimony to be heart-wrenching, painful, compelling, and I believe that she believes what she testified to,” Collins said. “But we also had a case where Judge Kavanaugh came forward and said, ‘I’m 100 percent certain that this did not happen,’ so here you have two people who are each 100 percent certain of what they’re saying under pain of perjury,” she said on CNN.