Kavanaugh and accuser to testify in Senate

J. Scott Applewhite  APBrett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Sept. 4 2018

J. Scott Applewhite APBrett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Sept. 4 2018

Republican sources on Capitol Hill say it's uncertain if the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Monday to address the sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will actually occur.

To counter a letter signed by 65 women who said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh never tried to assault them in high school, more than 200 former classmates of his accuser - including "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus - joined forces to support her. Grassley said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

"While the committee unquestionably needs to hear from both, there are other relevant witnesses who should be questioned under oath, in a public setting", the Democrats said in their letter.

"We still haven't heard from Dr. Ford, so do they want to have the hearing or not?" Ford tells the Post that she sent a letter about Kavanaugh to Senator Dianne Feinstein via Eshoo's office.

Senate Democrats have called for Judge to be invited to testify given that he was identified as having been a witness to the alleged sexual misconduct, which Ford said took place while the three were high schoolers in 1982.

Graham said, "I hope the Senate is smarter than this and they're not going to let this stop the process from moving forward and confirming this man".

All 10 Democratic Party members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling for the panel's Republican chairman to postpone Thursday's planned vote on Kavanaugh. Earlier in the press conference, she said of Blasey Ford, "I believe her".

Conway, one of the highest-ranking women in the West Wing, said she'd "spoken at length" with Trump about the allegations.

However, Ford's defenders argue that she should be heard, and that Kavanaugh's alleged behavior as a teenager was relevant to his confirmation because it showed his character.

On Sunday evening, a pair of outgoing Republican senators said outright that the Senate Judiciary Committee should not vote on Kavanaugh's nomination until they talk to his accuser. The delay makes it increasingly hard for Kavanaugh to win approval by October 1, when the new session of the Supreme Court begins.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Sept. 4 2018 in Washington D.C
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from NY, said an FBI investigation is "essential" to prevent the hearing from becoming merely a he said-she said affair.

At one point, she said, Judge jumped on top of them, toppling them over allowing her to break free.

If the Judiciary committee's timetable slips, it would become increasingly hard for Republicans to schedule a vote before midterm elections on November 6 elections, when congressional control will be at stake.

He added that Kavanaugh was "anxious" to answer the accusations against him, while acknowledging that the testimony would hold up his confirmation.

Anita Hill - whose sex-harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas almost derailed his appointment to the US Supreme Court in 1991 - took a swipe at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday as it grappled with accusations against a new nominee.

Ms. Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her at a party when the two were in high school roughly 35 years ago.

Anita Hill, whose 1991 allegations of sexual harassment against a Supreme Court nominee foreshadowed the scene now playing out in D.C., said Tuesday that the Senate is no better prepared to vet claims against a nominee today than it was then.

Ford has not responded to invitations by Grassley to testify before the Senate on Monday. The statement seemed to suggest that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not now investigating.

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. "Many of us are survivors ourselves", the letter reads.

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