The American Bar Association is reportedly calling for an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh following Thursday's Senate testimony by the Supreme Court nominee and his main accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
"We make this request because of the ABA's respect for the rule of law and due process under law," the ABA said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Each appointment to our nation's highest court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote," the letter, obtained by several news outlets including CNN, read.
It further warned, "Deciding to proceed without conducting additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate's reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court."
The letter from the ABA, which had given a rating of "well qualified" to Kavanaugh following his nomination in July, follows a tense day of testimony before the Senate committee in which Ford recounted the alleged sexual assault 36 years ago and insisted she was "100 percent" sure that Kavanaugh was the perpetrator.
Kavanaugh proclaimed his innocence, denying Ford's allegation again and vowing defiantly: "You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit. Never."
He said the Senate's confirmation process was a "circus" and "a national disgrace" and that it had replaced "advice and consent with search and destroy."
"For 12 years, everyone who has appeared before me on the D.C. Circuit has praised my judicial temperament," Kavanaugh told the Judiciary Committee members on Thursday. "That's why I have the unanimous, well qualified rating from the American Bar Association."
However, despite being pressed repeatedly by Democrats to call for an FBI investigation into the claims of Ford and others, Kavanaugh declined to do so, saying instead: "I welcome whatever the committee wants to do."
Last week, Democratic senators sent a letter to President Trump asking him to reconsider a decision not to ask a further investigation.
As The Associated Press notes, "Republicans are concerned, among other reasons, that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more difficult."
Following Thursday's testimony, Trump –- who a day earlier had defended Kavanaugh but left the door open that he might reconsider his support -– praised the nominee.
"His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting," Trump tweeted. "The Senate must vote!"
The Senate Judiciary Committee, comprising 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, is scheduled to vote Friday on whether to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination to the full chamber for confirmation.