Collins wants Kavanaugh and accuser to be cross-examined by lawyers at hearing

Minnie Murray
September 19, 2018

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) listens during a markup hearing September 13 before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Feinstein has demanded that the confirmation vote be postponed until the FBI investigates claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford said he tried to attack her and remove her clothing in 1982 when they were both high school students in a Maryland suburb outside Washington.

The furious jockeying over the hearing underscored the political potency so close to an election that will decide control of both the House and Senate, not to mention the confirmation of a conservative justice likely to serve on the high court for decades.

One Democratic senator, Richard Blumenthal, said Kavanaugh should withdraw his nomination.

Until late Tuesday, Ford and her attorney had not yet responded to the committee's hearing request. Kavanaugh, who has denied the assault allegation, met with officials at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day. And on Tuesday afternoon, Judge said he did not want to testify.

Screenshot via Grabien NewsChristine Ford, a woman from Judge Brett Kavanaugh's past, has made serious accusations of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee. "This is not a man that deserves this".

Trump also says the Federal Bureau of Investigation shouldn't be involved in investigating the Kavanaugh allegation "because they don't want to be involved".

"That's not what they do", Trump said. Republicans hope to have him confirmed by the October 1 start of the next Supreme Court term.

McConnell says Ford's allegation "stands at odds with every other piece of the overwhelmingly positive testimony we've received" about Kavanaugh.

"He's not happy, he's upset", Kennedy said.

What does Ford say happened? . They didn't even ask Ford if she'd be available to testify then. "Her lawyer has not yet responded", an aide to the chairman of the committee, Sen.

"So it kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?" Grassley said on radio's "Hugh Hewitt Show".

Ford, now a psychology professor at California's Palo Alto University, gave her description of her encounter with Kavanaugh to The Washington Post in an interview published Sunday. She was able to get away.

Banks said Ford struggled "mightily" with the decision to alert lawmakers to the alleged incident.

Debra Katz, a lawyer representing Ford, said in television interviews on Monday that the professor would be willing to testify and called the alleged incident "attempted rape".

The alleged incident happened more than 30 years ago, but Banks says Ford's recollection of the event is "crystal clear". "There are gaps in her memory. She doesn't know how she got there, when it was, and so that would logically be something where she would get questions", Cornyn told reporters. Democrats faced criticism for being timid in her defense.

"Now the whole nation's trying to figure out something that's not really evident", said Sen.

Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, urged Republicans not to "rush the hearings". "And it is not the woman's fault".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And I would surely hope she'd come Monday.

He still expressed confidence that Kavanaugh would be confirmed, saying, "I'm not concerned about tanking the nomination".

"Committee members need to have the facts, that's why they're asking for an FBI background investigation and I believe that that would produce a much better hearing".

Democrats who do not sit on the Judiciary Committee were also joining their colleagues' calls for the FBI to investigate before proceeding to a committee hearing. "That's been a good thing for all of us, I think".

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., was asked if it was poor optics for an all-male panel of Judiciary Committee Republicans to be questioning Ford about her allegations (there are four women, all Democrats, also on the committee).

Ford said she will participate in any proceedings she is invited to take part in.

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.

Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick, Juliet Linderman and Catherine Lucey contributed from Washington.

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