Focus should be on the truth of accusation

One may be tempted to wonder why, if they are so eager to get at the truth, powerful Democrats in the U.S. Senate kept allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh under wraps for so long.

Actually, there is no question about the cynical game being played by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and others attempting to derail the nomination. They are less interested in resolving accusations against Kavanaugh than in delaying Senate action on him.

It was in July that Feinstein received a letter detailing a claim by college professor Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh. Ford says that sometime during the early 1980s, when she was 15 years old, she attended a party at a private home. There, Kavanaugh, 17, tried to remove her bathing suit, pinned her down on a bed and put his hand over her mouth to silence her, Ford insists.

But the allegations were kept quiet until earlier this month, as a Senate vote on the nominee approached.

Then, just days ago, The New Yorker magazine reported another allegation. This one comes from a woman who says that while Kavanaugh was attending Yale, he assaulted her at a party. Specifically, she says he placed his penis near her face and forced her to touch it.

There has been little time for members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering Kavanaugh’s nomination, to investigate the latter claim. Ford’s has been looked into, however.

She does not remember where or when the alleged party occurred. The one witness she says saw what happened insists Kavanaugh did not commit the acts Ford has claimed. No one has been found to confirm her story.

To the contrary, many women who have known Kavanaugh for years have said his behavior toward them was exemplary.

Kavanaugh himself has been blunt: “What I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

Both he and Ford are to testify before the committee on Thursday.

Members of the panel — both Republican and Democrat — have an obligation to get to the truth as best they can. Then, without allowing any more delaying tactics, they should make a decision on whether to recommend Kavanaugh for confirmation.

It’s time to stop using Ford as a political weapon.