Brett Kavanaugh willing to 'refute' sexual assault allegation before Senate panel

Lester Mason
September 19, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford has stepped forward as the anonymous woman who wrote a letter alleging that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wouldn't say whether the vote should be postponed or whether she believes Ford.

He had been on a smooth confirmation track, but the new allegations have roiled that process.

But the president is predicting that it will "work out very well".

Debra Katz, a Washington attorney representing Ford, told news shows Monday that the accuser, now a 51-year-old research psychologist at Palo Alto University in California, is willing to testify about her allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her husband, Russell Ford, told the newspaper that when she described the incident in the 2012 session, she used Kavanaugh's last name and said she was concerned he might eventually be nominated to the Supreme Court. We need to do right by Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Ford "should not be insulted and she should not be ignored".

Collins said that in a telephone conversation with Kavanaugh on Friday, he was "absolutely emphatic" that the assault didn't occur, and she said it would be "disqualifying" if Kavanaugh was lying.

Feinstein and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY were among a number of Democrats who demanded a delay in the Senate Judiciary vote to hear from Ford, including all 10 Democrats on the committee.

White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, in a statement, said Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by the judge's denial of the allegation. He says, "I'm not really sure where this goes from here". "For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect".

He also said he hadn't spoken with Kavanaugh since the accusation became public.

Official Washington was scrambling Monday to assess Kavanaugh's prospects after his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, revealed her identity to The Washington Post and described an encounter she believes was attempted rape.

"I'm pleased that the committee mark up for this week has been canceled and there will be a public hearing and both Judge Kavanaugh and Professor Ford will be testifying under oath, in a public hearing, next Monday". Ford said she ran from the room, briefly locking herself in a bathroom and then fleeing from the house.

While some Republican senators, such as Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Arizona's Jeff Flake, are concerned with process, one source said that doesn't necessarily mean a long delay - and the concern is that a long delay is what Democrats are pushing for.

A Judiciary committee statement Sunday accused Democrats of hiding Ford's allegations until the eve of the vote. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, center, speaks with Sen.

The accusation has raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Mr Trump's nominee ahead of mid-term elections.

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh recall Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas in 1991, but there are important differences as well as cautions for senators considering how to deal with the allegations.

Trump did not say whether he thought Ford should appear before lawmakers.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa was trying to arrange separate, follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford before Thursday's vote - but just for aides to top members. Senators, so far sharply divided along partisan lines, should hope information is forthcoming about the veracity of the allegations before they have to vote on whether to confirm Kavanaugh.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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