Senate Judiciary to probe Kavanaugh, accuser in public hearing

Marsha Scott
September 19, 2018

In a statement Monday, White House spokesman Raj Shah said Kavanaugh "looks forward to a hearing where he can clear his name of this false allegation".

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Monday said that he believed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh did not attempt to rape Christine Ford when the two of them were teenagers - but he also tried to downplay what it would mean if the accusations were true. "In this case, that would entail phone calls with at least Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford".

It is in the best interests of this process to fully air the accusations, with both Ford and Kavanaugh under oath.

Ford was able to escape the assault when a classmate of Kavanaugh's, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them.

President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other top Republicans have sharply criticized Feinstein's handling of the letter and refusal to ask Kavanaugh about the controversy during public and private sessions over the last several weeks. He is an outstanding intellect and outstanding judge respected by everybody. He defended Kavanaugh as someone who "never even had a little blemish on his record".

The president seems to be OK with "a little delay", and suggested to reporters Monday that he agrees with some congressional Republicans that there should be a "process".

Trump picked Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing.

Details of the allegations have trickled out since the committee's ranking member, Sen.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is still scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination on Thursday, but that may be delayed, as both Ford and Kavanaugh have agreed to testify.

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Debra Katz, a lawyer for Ford - who only came forward publicly on Sunday after trying to keep her name hidden for more than a month - had said earlier she was ready to speak under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the panel refused to take part, arguing that the FBI should investigate the allegations stemming from an incident Ford says happened at a party in the early 1980s when they were both students in high school.

With Mr Kavanaugh's once-safe nomination for a lifetime job on the top United States court now appearing in jeopardy, the conservative federal appeals court judge had meetings at the White House and issued a fresh denial calling the assault allegation "completely false".

Still, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of Ford: "She should not be insulted". Kavanaugh has offered a full denial, saying: "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone".

On Sunday, the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, came forward with her allegations in an interview with The Washington Post. He said Ford, Kavanaugh and the American people "deserve to get to the truth as soon as possible".

Which way Kavanaugh's nomination goes - to the high court or down in defeat - is all about the math of votes in the 100-member Senate. Wilkinson has not returned calls from CNN seeking comment.

Katz told news shows Monday that Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist at Palo Alto University in California, characterizes Kavanaugh's actions as "attempted rape" and believes "that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped". She contacted her congressmember and The Washington Post through a tip line.

Speaking to reporters Monday at an event at the residence of the USA ambassador to Ireland, Biden again expressed regret for how Hill was treated and insisted he'd believed her allegations against Thomas from the very start. 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.

Democrats immediately called for a delay in a key committee vote set for this later week and a Republican on the closely divided panel said he was "not comfortable" voting on the nomination without first hearing from the accuser.

Kavanaugh arrived at the White House on Monday, shortly after issuing a strongly worded statement denying Ford's allegation and stressing his willingness to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee to "refute it".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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