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

Showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser scheduled for next week

Showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser scheduled for next week

Senate Republicans are pushing forward with plans for a showdown Monday between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who accused him of sexual assault in high school, but Democrats want more time and testimony.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood strongly behind Brett Kavanaugh, saying her claims that he'd sexually attacked her when both were high schoolers "stands at odds" with everything known about the Supreme Court nominee's background.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein reportedly won't say if the accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are true.

Nominated by President George H.W. Bush to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Thurgood Marshall, his confirmation almost was derailed by charges he sexually harassed Anita Hill. They say the hearing should not move forward until that investigation is completed.

The president, who himself faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct that emerged during the 2016 presidential election, said he did not meet with Kavanaugh when the nominee visited the White House. Diane Feinstein, who didn't make the letter from Ford public because Ford asked that she remain anonymous, Feinstein said in a statement last week.

Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

While the two shared career and family advice over the years, Blasey Ford also confided in him twice this summer about whether and how to tell her story, he said. Wray said the Federal Bureau of Investigation administratively closed its background file on Porter in January, weeks before the allegations were published.

Ford's attorney said Monday that her client would be open to "a fair proceeding" and testify. Ford identified Kavanaugh's friend as the conservative writer Mark Judge. "We were going through all of that process". "But as you know, they say this is not really their thing". Democrats will use Monday's hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women.

Though Democrats and Republicans on the committee have both said they believe Ford deserves to be heard, they're at odds over the way to do so.

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Authorities also have recovered the body of 1-year-old North Carolina boy who was swept from his mother's arms by floodwaters. Cooper reported 2,600 people have been rescued and evacuated already, in addition to 300 animals in North Carolina .

"I want to have both individuals come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testify under oath", Collins said to reporters Monday on Capitol Hill.

There were other potential witnesses who came forward before the Hill-Thomas hearings, and then-Chairman Joe Biden declined to let them testify, something he now has said publicly he regrets.

Blasey Ford anxious that coming forward with the allegations against Kavanaugh would lead to personal attacks against her, which have already begun.

While some Republican senators, such as Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Flake, are concerned with process, one source said that doesn't necessarily mean a long delay - and the concern is that a long delay is what Democrats are pushing for.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, who has been wooed by Kavanaugh opponents hoping she'll vote with the Democrats, tweeted Tuesday she was "respectfully recommending" that at Monday's hearing the counsel for Ford be allowed to question Kavanaugh.

"I've made it clear that I'm not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further", Arizona's Jeff Flake, a member of the committee, told the Post.

Democrats are hoping to wrest control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans on 6 November, dealing a serious blow to the president's agenda.

Kavanaugh has had a relatively smooth confirmation track until the allegations against him were reported last week.

That incident inspired a record number of women to run for federal office that cycle, including Murray, who was elected the following year.

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