Chairman of the United States’ Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassly on Tuesday rejected calls for an inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her in the 1980s when both of them were in high school.

Ford had said that she wanted the FBI to investigate her allegation before she testifies in front of the Senate judiciary committee next week. “While Dr Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen US Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident,” her lawyers said in their letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

There is been an uncertainty over whether she will appear in front of the committee to testify.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Ford “deserves to be heard” and that the invitation to testify still stands. “Dr Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events,” Grassley said, according to The Guardian. “Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for delay.”

Kavanaugh denied the allegations when they initially surfaced anonymously after Ford detailed them in a letter to her local Congresswoman and then to California Senator Diane Feinstein.

Kavanaugh is a District of Columbia appeals court judge and served as an advisor to former President George W Bush. In order to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s nomination must now be confirmed by the US Senate, which the Republican Party narrowly controls 51-49. A nominee needs a simple majority of 51 votes to be confirmed.

Democrats have called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone its vote until the allegations are investigated.