Brett Kavanaugh nomination: Trump challenges accuser

Minnie Murray
September 21, 2018

Kavanaugh denies ever assaulting Ford, or anyone else.

"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents".

Ford has contended that at a house party in Washington's Maryland suburbs, a drunken Kavanaugh tried undressing her and stifling her cries on a bed before she fled. He says he is willing to appear before the committee Monday to deny the allegations lodged against him.

In a statement on Wednesday, a lawyer for Ford said her client was willing to cooperate with the committee, but criticized its plan to have only Ford and Kavanaugh testify.

She continued: "She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".

It's unclear whether that would change after Ford's attorneys spoke with the committee.

Speaking to the Values Voter Summit, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court "in the very near future"; reaction from attorney and journalist Tim O'Brien. She says she can relate to women who say they've been mistreated by men and understands why it might take years to come forward with such allegations. Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona - said that unless Ford testified Monday they would move on to Kavanagh's vote.

Kavanaugh said in a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday that he "will be there" on Monday. Ford says she can't appear that day and wants to testify next Thursday if Republicans agree to several conditions, including that she not be in the same room with Kavanaugh. He also retweeted other accounts accusing liberals and the media of overplaying the allegations against Kavanaugh. Or, would Judge acknowledge that his frequent state of being "wasted", at parties like the one where Ford says the assault took place, prevent him from remembering the incident, even if it took place as Ford described. Kavanaugh and his wife also had received threats, a senior White House official said.

Kavanaugh and his allies have been privately discussing a defense that would not question whether an incident happened to Ford, but instead would raise doubts that the attacker was Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The allegation has jarred Kavanaugh's prospects for winning Senate confirmation to be a justice, which until Ford's emergence last week had seemed all but certain.

Twelve of Ford's family members wrote an open letter, posted on Twitter by her niece, actress and singer Bridgit Mendler, calling Ford "highly ethical" and saying "her honesty is above reproach".

Equally troubling is the White House's failure to direct the FBI to investigate Dr Ford's accusation.

Donald Trump has been accused of "victim-shaming" the professor who accused his new Supreme Court pick of attempted rape.

After Grassley rebuffed the request for an FBI investigation and President Donald Trump downplayed the notion, Ford's attorney Lisa Banks said on Wednesday that "the rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth".

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to win control of Congress from the Republicans.

Republicans have resisted all Democratic efforts to slow and perhaps block Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"Don't get rattled by all of this, we're going to plow right through it and do our job", he said to applause from the crowd.

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