Hearing set for Monday on Kavanaugh assault accusation

Erika Holt
September 20, 2018

Stressing that Mr Kavanaugh had already testified and undergone Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said: "I think you have to weigh this testimonial evidence from Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh along with the considerable body of evidence that is already there about the judge's temperament and qualifications and character".

The allegation now threatens to inject a potentially heated "he said-she said" battle into the looming midterm congressional elections, with Republican control of the House of Representatives and the Senate at stake. Kavanaugh denies the claim, calling it "completely false". "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes-to her or to anyone", Kavanaugh said in the statement Monday.

Kavanaugh later issued a fresh denial of the allegations, which have roiled his confirmation process, saying he is willing to talk to the committee in any way it "deems appropriate".

Republicans say the allegations have already cast a shadow over Mr Kavanaugh but that it does not appear to be enough to change the votes in the narrowly divided 51 - 49 Senate.

On Monday morning, Democrats stepped up calls for a delay in the committee vote.

Schumer claimed that President Donald Trump would attempt to take away health care from Americans, while Democrats want to give them better care. Ford is speaking on the record about her experience.

Underscoring the raw political divisions prompted by the Kavanaugh fight, Feinstein said she'd only learned of the hearing on Twitter.

Ford alleges that when she was in high school, a "stumbling drunk" Kavanaugh pinned her down in a bedroom at a house party, groped her over her clothing, and attempted to remove her clothes.

Judge denied the allegation in an interview with The Weekly Standard on Friday. She said President George H.W. Bush had asked the FBI to investigate Anita Hill's allegations against Thomas.

Ford initially contacted both Feinstein and The Washington Post in July, but at the time, she was not willing to make her allegation publicly. "She was weighing her desire and her belief that she had a civic duty to provide this information to those making the decision about Brett Kavanaugh with, frankly, her fear about coming forward, and there was going to be great personal risk to her and her family in doing so".

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Collins on Monday called for both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath.

Kavanaugh attended a private school for boys in Maryland while Ford attended a nearby school. Consistent with that practice, I asked Senator Feinstein's office yesterday to join me in scheduling these follow-ups. "This woman will be heard".

Then, Ford came forward as the anonymous accuser and published a piece about how Kavanaugh supposedly sexually harassed her. Conway, though, noted that Ford's account, while it should be considered, should also be "weighed against" other evidence.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Demand Justice, told ABC News that this is the first time since Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement that trigger Kavanaugh's nomination, the group is targeting Colorado and Nevada in an effort to put pressure on Republican Senators Dean Heller and Cory Gardner, to halt the confirmation process. The accusations have thrown the timeline into doubt, however.

Conway later tweeted that Kavanaugh is "willing to add to his dozens of hours of sworn testimony".

But Conway said there should not be a delay, noting that even without Ford's allegations, many Democratic senators were planning to vote against him.

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.

"She should testify under oath".

"In light of recent allegations, it is more important than ever for the Senate to have a full picture of Judge Kavanaugh's views, credibility, and character", Leahy said.

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