Anita Hill, who in 1991 accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, criticized the Senate Judiciary Committee for rushing its response to a sexual assault allegation against President Donald Trump's latest pick for the high court, Brett Kavanaugh.
College professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, accused Kavanaugh, 53, of sexual assault while highly intoxicated at a gathering decades earlier when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh strongly denies the allegation, and said he is willing to testify before senators.
Lawyer Debra Katz, who had initially signaled Ford's willingness to do the same, said Tuesday night that Ford wants an FBI investigation to be completed ahead of an appearance before the Senate committee.
"Absolutely it's the right move" for Ford to request a federal probe, Hill said Wednesday on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
"All of this is really something that I don't think can be avoided if you really want to get to the truth, if that's the purpose of this hearing," Hill added.
Hill had alleged Thomas sexually harassed her in the early 1980s, years before he was nominated for the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush. She said Thomas discussed pornography and other lascivious subjects around her and repeatedly asked her out, despite her refusals.
Thomas denied the allegations, and famously called the proceedings themselves "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas."
Hill's accusation came to light only after Thomas' initial confirmation hearing — one of the many parallels between her experience and the ongoing controversy between Kavanaugh and Ford.
The timing of the revelation — weeks after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., received a letter from Ford detailing the allegation and requesting anonymity — quickly became a sticking point among Republicans, who suggested the allegation was lodged late in the proceedings for purely political purposes.
"If Democrats reject the committee handling this swiftly and in a bipartisan way through regular order, then it's clear that their only intention is to smear Judge Kavanaugh and derail his nomination," Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.
Trump weighed in on Monday, saying "This is something that should've been brought up long before this."
Hill said the doubts about Ford's story, including that she may simply be "mixed up" and has mistaken her attacker for Kavanaugh, are "not for a layperson to determine."
"That's why you have investigators who are experienced in these situations," Hill said.
Hill said her advice would be "to push the pause button" until a hearing can be put together that is "not biased by politics or men" — an apparent reference to the all-male Republican majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Moving forward on this at this pace, with this kind of black hole of a process being foreseen by many of us, we are really under the impression that the Senate doesn't take this seriously," Hill said.