Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., apologized and deleted a tweet that seemed to make light of threats made to a female senator regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Supreme Court confirmation.
Swalwell originally shared a report from The Hill about threats Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and her office has received. Though not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Collins has been the target of liberal groups hoping to persuade her to vote against President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is on hold after he was publicly accused of sexual assault – an incident that allegedly happened in the 1980s – by a California psychology professor. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations and offered to appear before lawmakers in a hearing to clear his name.
Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who made the allegation, called for an FBI investigation before she accepts an invitation to meet with lawmakers. Her lawyers have also said she and her family have been “forced to relocate out of their home” because she’s been “the target of vicious harassment and even death threats.”
As the back-and-forth among lawmakers over what to do with Kavanaugh’s confirmation continues, Collins said her office has received intimating messages.
“My office has received some pretty ugly voicemails, threats, terrible things said to my staff,” Collins recently told WVOM radio. “This has been a very ugly process, and I think that’s very unfortunate for everyone involved.”
In a since-deleted tweet, posted at 3:24 a.m. Thursday, Swalwell responded: “Boo hoo hoo. You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her own home tonight because of threats.”
“Where are you sleeping? She’s on her own while you and your [Senate GOP] colleagues try to rush her through a hearing,” he continued.
In subsequent tweets, Swalwell said “no one should make threats," adding he didn’t mean to suggest violence is acceptable.
“Sexual assault victims deserve respect. And senators shouldn’t be threatened by the public,” the congressman said. “I said something stupid and minimized ugly behavior. That tweet is deleted and I’m sorry for that.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has given Ford until Friday morning to determine whether she’ll testify before lawmakers – publicly or privately – Monday as Republicans have requested.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.