There’s a reason for this unusual move: Every Republican senator on the committee is male, and aggressive questioning of Blasey could backfire for them. If they use their aides, they would be able to rely on female staffers. (The Democratic side is more diverse, with women and people of color on the committee.)

Three Democratic sources familiar with the committee’s planning told HuffPost that this proposal was under consideration, although so far it’s not clear whether Blasey and Kavanaugh will testify. The office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the judiciary panel, did not return a request for comment.

“We’ve discussed various options, including hiring outside lawyers and supplementing that with senators asking questions,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the committee. “So, any senator who wants to ask questions remains free to do so. But I don’t want want to get in front of the chairman.”