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MN senators, candidates react to Kavanaugh accusations

Sen. Tina Smith has already made it clear she would not be supporting Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With Christine Blasey Ford set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and another woman coming forward with accusations of sexual misconduct, it is unlikely the senator will change her mind.

"These are very serious allegations," the Democrat said in a statement to the News Tribune. "Judge Kavanaugh is being considered for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the voters won't have an opportunity to decide for themselves. The Senate needs to fulfill our constitutional responsibility of providing advice and consent."

Smith's Republican opponent, Karin Housley, has previously expressed support for Kavanaugh's confirmation and said last week that "every accuser deserves to be heard."

"I believe the Judiciary Committee should hear directly from the accuser so that all the facts can be known by the public," she tweeted Sept. 17.

Housley went on to blast Smith for a "hypocritical" approach to the accusations.

"Tina Smith and national Democrats should apply the same standard to Keith Ellison," the Democratic candidate for Minnesota attorney general, "who has been accused by two victims of horrific accounts of abuse," Housley wrote.

Jim Newberger, the Republican running against Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, took the same approach in a tweet Sunday: "Where is her call for further action regarding Keith Ellison's repeated reports of abuse, which are now supported by medical records?"

Klobuchar, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, has called for an "impartial investigation by the FBI of Dr. Blasey Ford's report."

"For weeks we've witnessed a full-fledged effort to ram this nomination through without thousands of critical documents or investigative followup," Klobuchar tweeted last week.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

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