Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kavanaugh accuser wants an investigation into sexual assault claim before testifying

Kavanaugh accuser wants an investigation into sexual assault claim before testifying

What is the case about?

In the Washington Post article published Sunday, Ford claimed a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a house party when she was 15 years old. Chuck Grassley on Tuesday said Ford has yet to respond to the invitation, even after being contacted by the staff several times over the course of roughly 36 hours.

At a minimum, given the allegation and the stakes, the senators who have to decide whether Kavanaugh is fit to sit on the court should not only get to hear directly from both Ford and Kavanaugh, but also to ask questions of both of them as well.

"This is a completely false allegation", he said in a statement.

A hearing would represent a potential make-or-break moment for the conservative federal appeals court judge's confirmation chances for the lifetime post on the top USA court, as Trump pursues his goal of moving the federal judiciary to the right.

"Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process", Banks said. "Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online", it added. "She is prepared to cooperate with the committee and with any law enforcement investigation".

"She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats", Ford's lawyers wrote in their letter. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home.

How Trump reacted to the news?

But the president is predicting that it will "work out very well".

"This is not a man that deserves this", Trump said.

He led the state Senate last fall when accusations of widespread misconduct rocked the Capitol. "I'd assume the committee would then move on as they should".

Kavanaugh is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation's second-most-powerful court. Republicans hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed by October 1, the start of the next Supreme Court term.

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"He wasn't going to vote for Brett Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court in the first place", Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said of Leahy, who appeared before her on the PBS NewsHour Monday night. "I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching and studying, the Democrats Playbook". The argument is that a Kavanaugh defeat would badly demoralize the Republican base in advance of the 2018 midterms - and that depression coupled with Democrats' huge enthusiasm to vote would flip control.

Republican leader John Cornyn of Texas noted that Ford has admitted she doesn't remember some details of the incident. He called the allegations a "drive-by attack" on the judge's character. "There are gaps in her memory".

She said she feared Kavanaugh might inadvertently kill her before she managed to flee.

Mike Braun, a former IN state legislator running against Donnelly, also criticised the timing and praised Kavanaugh.

It could mean the committee will only hear Judge Kavanaugh's version of events, as Adam Liptak of the New York Times explains. It's unclear how the latest developments will impact an eventual vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation out of committee, originally set for this Thursday.

And Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Tuesday said it's "too early for me to make that judgment" when asked whether Judge should be called to testify under oath. "It's a process, speaking for all of the Republicans, we want to give everybody a chance to say what they want to say". It said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had forwarded to the White House a letter, evidently from Ford, describing alleged misconduct in the 1980s by Kavanaugh.

Sen. Mazi Hirono (D-Hawaii) has said that she thinks Ford would feel victimized if she were forced to testify without a full report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a key Republican on the panel, said, "We should proceed as planned".

"A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to".

Underscoring the raw political divisions prompted by the Kavanaugh fight, Feinstein said she'd only learned of the hearing on Twitter.

"This is another attempt by Republicans to rush this nomination and not fully vet Judge Kavanaugh". Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, when he was Senate majority leader.

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