Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday he supports an investigation into allegations from a California woman that Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
Nelson, a Democrat, tweeted that Kavanaugh and alleged victim Christine Blasey Ford should testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Through her attorney, Ford has agreed to do just that, according to reports.
Nelson's Republican counterpart Sen. Marco Rubio has not responded to a request for comment on the latest Kavanaugh news. The campaign of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is running against Nelson for his Senate seat, also did not reply to a question sent Monday morning.
Ford told the Washington Post over the weekend that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when the two were high school students in suburban Maryland. She described a sexual assault encounter in detail, alleging that an intoxicated Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes and attempted to pull off her swim suit.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California, told the newspaper. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."
Ford initially brought the alleged incident to the attention of her congresswoman, Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, in July, and in a letter that was forwarded to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
The contents of that letter leaked last week, and Ford came forward to the Post to tell the full story in her own words.
Republicans have criticized Democrats for waiting until the 11th hour to surface the letter. Nevertheless, some Republicans, including crucial swing vote Sen. Susan Collins, have called for both Ford and Kavanaugh to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on the nomination.
The panel was scheduled to vote Thursday.