Outside groups dig in as allegation roils Kavanaugh nomination

by Garry Watts September 18, 2018, 1:48
Outside groups dig in as allegation roils Kavanaugh nomination

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt -usually on opposite political sides - offered almost identical reactions to the sexual assault allegations against federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a sign of the high political stakes for both GOP leaders and red state Democrats as the Senate weighs the judge's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh issued a new denial Monday morning in response to a woman's allegation that he assaulted her when they were both in high school.

Ford said in the interview with the newspaper that Kavanaugh threw her down on a bed, grinding his body against hers and trying to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she was wearing over it. Ford said that when she tried to scream, he put his hand over her mouth.

In an updated statement, Kavanaugh said at the White House on Monday, "This is a completely false allegation". Moderates in both parties including pivotal Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Kavanaugh and Ford should be given the chance to testify before the committee, a move that could delay the confirmation process.

Ms Ford identified Mr Judge as the friend who jumped on top of her and Mr Kavanaugh.

The Post said Ford originally contacted her representative in the House, California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, whose office sent her letter to Feinstein. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC, said they wanted to hear more from Ford.

The attorneys claim that Kavanaugh "was intentionally evasive and misleading in his answers to questions under oath". On Friday, 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school joined at least 131 other women who testified to his character over the years. Senate Republicans hold a 51-49 majority and can not afford two or more Republicans voting against Kavanaugh's nomination unless they pick up votes from Democrats.

The alleged incident happened the summer before Ford's junior year at a small party, Ford's lawyer, Lisa Banks, said in an interview with Morning Edition's Rachel Martin.

Debra Katz, an attorney for Ford, said Monday that Ford is willing to testify about her accusations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Trump told reporters that "if it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay" to vet the allegations against Kavanaugh, who is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The California senator said in a statement after Ford went public that she backs her decision to tell about the alleged incident and hopes "the attacks and shaming of her will stop and this will be treated with the seriousness it deserves". According to U.S. media, some Republicans on the panel also said the vote should be delayed until the committee can hear Ford's testimony.

"I've made it clear that I'm not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further", Flake told The Washington Post.

"It is unfortunate that this allegation is being brought forth so late in the confirmation process, but Dr. Ford's allegation should be investigated", Hoeven said in a statement.

Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "I think she's...she's mistaken something that I don't know".

Ford went public with her allegation in an article published by The Washington Post on Sunday.

A Republican not on the committee, Bob Corker of Tennessee, said the vote should be postponed until the committee heard from Ford. Now, with 23 women in the Senate - including four on the judiciary committee - and the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, Kavanaugh's future as a Supreme Court justice is in uncharted territory.

Cramer and Republican Sen.

She said Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk", she says - corralled her in a bedroom when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17.

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