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Brett Kavanaugh: Senate sets deadline for accuser testimony

19 September 2018

Mr Kavanaugh's appointment to the lifelong role would tilt the balance on the nine-member Supreme Court...

The committee also has invited Kavanaugh to testify on Monday. Republicans have charged Democrats with attempting to stymie the confirmation until after the November midterm elections, and with weaponizing Ford's allegation to achieve that political end.

"Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we'll have to make a decision", he said Wednesday as he departed the White House for the hurricane-drenched Carolinas.

"I really want to see her", Mr Trump said.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, told MSNBC on Tuesday that the White House should request an FBI investigation of the sexual-assault accusation and any refusal to do so by Republicans amounts to rushing to confirm him. A Democratic aide and another person familiar with the letter confirmed Friday to The Associated Press that the allegation is sexual in nature. And we want to get it over with.

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A spokesperson for the Justice Department didn't immediately rule out this possibility, of gathering "more background reports", when asked.

Grassley said the committee offered Ford "the opportunity to share her story" in a public or a private hearing, or staff interviews, "whichever makes her most comfortable".

Kavanaugh has strongly denied the incident in which Ford says he pinned her down and covered her mouth while trying to undress her when he was 17 and she 15.

The Free Beacon picked up some of her additional comments as she put on a sweeping media tour regarding the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. But in the days since she publicly accused Kavanaugh, the lawyers said, she has been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats".

However, as Kavanaugh-who already was deeply unpopular before Ford's allegations were made public-hasn't given any indication that he will stop seeking a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court, other advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers are calling for a delay of any confirmation vote until the Federal Bureau of Investigation can fully investigate Ford's claims.

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Earlier this year, before Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh became public, Smyth signed a letter testifying that the judge "is singularly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court", along with dozen other of the all-boys school's alumni. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Politico's Off Message podcast, echoing an argument Republicans made in 2016 when they held up former president Barack Obama's nominee for an open seat until after Trump won the election and nominated someone else. Senator Dick Durbin said he had "a lot of questions" for Kavanaugh. "I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching and studying, the Democrats Playbook".

One psychiatrist who has collaborated with her on four academic papers told The Times that Ford is "a woman of great integrity"; another who has known her for more than 10 years described her as calm, measured and scrupulously honest.

She also suggested bringing in the testimony of experts "who can help them shape the questions they're going to ask".

Any defections from Republicans' narrow Senate majority could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump. Now, Ford is protesting that a hearing scheduled for next week would be too soon.

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Brett Kavanaugh: Senate sets deadline for accuser testimony