Republicans press for Kavanaugh vote if accuser won't testify

Attorney for Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford: ‘Rush to a Hearing Is Unnecessary’

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In a major twist to his confirmation saga, attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in the 1980s, said their client was not prepared to testify in a public hearing offered by Republicans unless the FBI first investigates her allegations. He seemed to think he had posed a real moral puzzler. James Lankford, R-Okla. "It is a political dialogue on a very, very painful subject for a lot of people".

The allegation has shaken up the battle over Kavanaugh's confirmation, and Republicans are calling for a public hearing with both accuser and accused testifying.

The Post reported that Ford is a registered Democrat who has made small contributions to political organizations. "But I'm not going to look at one thing in this guy's life", Graham said of next Monday's hearing.

"I think he's on track, very much on track", Trump said.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation and said he would testify to "refute this false allegation" and "defend my integrity".

Anita Hill says the Senate Judiciary Committee could be holding a "sham" hearing next week without an FBI investigation of a woman's sexual-assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Dr. Blasey, who has two teenagers, has moved out of her house, is arranging for private security for herself and her family, and is effectively in hiding, the person said. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

Democrats decried Republicans' plans to push ahead with the hearing without seeking a full FBI investigation.

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The current political environment, obviously, after the #MeToo movement, is very different from what Hill encountered in 1991. Before Ford had come forward, he said, "So far, the claims against Kavanaugh are _still_ a terrible dirty trick".

Yet a few Republicans have suggested there may have to be a delay, at least in the Judiciary vote on the nominee - which was scheduled for this Thursday - in order to hear from Ford.

Trump picked Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing. He told reporters at the White House: "If it takes a little delay, it will take a little delay".

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

Among the GOP defectors was Sen.

Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which sit some of the same members today.

There was enormous pressure on GOP Sens. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) went a step further, asking Grassley to allow Ford's counsel to cross examine Kavanaugh.

Collins said that in a telephone conversation with Kavanaugh on Friday he was "absolutely emphatic" that the assault didn't occur.

"This just came out 48 hours ago", she told CNN's Anderson Cooper, referring to her client's account in The Washington Post. And yet, she decided she was willing to come forward and tell her story. Neither Collins nor Murkowski faces re-election this fall.

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Democrats want to postpone the vote until after the midterm elections, citing 'serious questions about Judge Kavanaugh's record, truthfulness, and character'.

Another Democrat on the panel, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, said staging the hearing without the FBI investigation would make it a "sham".

The White House reiterated its support for Kavanaugh, with spokeswoman Kerri Kupec saying in an email Monday that it stands by the nominee's denial.

In a statement on Monday, a representative for the Justice Department said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had followed protocol forwarding information about the allegation to the White House.

"They have to be investigated", Banks replied.

Kavanaugh and Ford had each indicated earlier Monday a willingness to testify to the Judiciary committee. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, tweeted the quote and said it's "now clear" why Feinstein kept the allegation secret. But in the days since she publicly accused Kavanaugh of the assault when they were teens at a party 35 years ago, the lawyers said, she has been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats".

Her studies first brought her West, but for Christine Margaret Blasey Ford, the move to California proved a way to leave behind what had gone wrong in her teenage years in the patrician suburbs of Washington, D.C.

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