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

Kavanaugh Is Already Reshaping the Supreme Court

Kavanaugh Is Already Reshaping the Supreme Court

Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct prior to his confirmation to the bench, is pushing for an official investigation into the claims made against President Donald Trump's SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

"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 U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident", the letter reads.

While Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, has been criticized for how she's handled the allegations, she also expressed disappointment in Republicans and the Trump administration for "failing to take even the most basic steps to investigate this matter".

"Monday is her opportunity", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said yesterday, a line that was echoed by other Republicans throughout the day.

Kavanaugh has been accused by 51-year-old Christine Ford of attempted assault at a house party in the 1980s, when the pair were at high school, an accusation Kavanaugh denies. "Only then should the chairman set a hearing date", Feinstein said.

Hewitt asked if there was any thought of having a female lawyer or someone like former Republican Sen.

A source close to Trump, who spoke on condition of anonymity, predicted trouble ahead should the Kavanaugh issue not be resolved soon, adding that "with seven weeks to go until an election, this is not the discussion that the Republicans want to be having in the era of the "me too" movement". "I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity".

Kavanaugh accuser wants an investigation into sexual assault claim before testifying
It could mean the committee will only hear Judge Kavanaugh's version of events, as Adam Liptak of the New York Times explains. Republican leader John Cornyn of Texas noted that Ford has admitted she doesn't remember some details of the incident.

Her lawyer, Lisa Banks, told CNN her client has been "deflecting death threats and harassment".

The Supreme Court will meet Monday for a "long" conference, where justices review hundreds of petitions and choose just a few to hear arguments from and decide before the end of the term in late June. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and she escaped when the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them. "They've given it a lot of time, they will continue to give it a lot of time, and really, it's up to the Senate".

"No, I'm not", Mr Trump said when asked if he was concerned what Manafort might say. "And we want to get it over with", Trump said.

The White House reiterated its support for Kavanaugh, with spokeswoman Kerri Kupec saying in an email Monday that it stands by the nominee's denial.

Manafort pleaded guilty last week to criminal charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and possible co-ordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Last week, the US President's candidate said he "categorically and unequivocally" denies the allegations. But don't be held hostage to the idea that if Kavanaugh doesn't wind up on the court - no matter what he and Ford say next week - it will be curtains for Senate Republicans. Grassley blamed Democrats for not previously disclosing the claim by Ford, who had sought to remain anonymous before ultimately agreeing to be publicly identified. A Democratic aide and another person familiar with the letter confirmed Friday to The Associated Press that the allegation is sexual in nature. At the time of the alleged encounter, Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17, she said.

Katz told United States media her client had been ambivalent about the pressure that would come with speaking out publicly.

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