Kavanaugh showdown hearing not yet set: Dems, GOP arguing on witnesses

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

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's nomination hangs in the balance as the Senate scrambles to set the terms of a public hearing scheduled in the wake of a woman's allegation that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

The dueling testimony had been expected to take place Monday in a piece of blockbuster Washington theater, putting both Trump's bid to tilt the Supreme Court to the right and political momentum ahead of November midterm congressional elections into play. Hill is now leading an entertainment industry commission on sexual harassment, launched after allegations surfaced against Harvey Weinstein and other industry figures.

But as the Senate judiciary committee moved on Tuesday to prepare for the hearing, several questions remained. "Now, just one week after Christine Blasey Ford shared her story, Republicans want to repeat past mistakes", Feinstein charged, "rushing the process to hold a hearing". At the same time, this is diametrically opposed to the approach Republicans are taking more broadly, which is to say Ford should be heard.

"It kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?"

Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.

Kavanaugh and his accuser will now publicly testify at a hearing on Monday. A lawyer for Ford has not returned multiple requests for comment. She said there are still a lot of questions, and "we need to know what happened". "What about other witnesses like Kavanaugh's friend Mark Judge?" Ford said. She said that the alleged incident "derailed" her ability to forge relationships for years.

McConnell said that "blatant malpractice" by Democrats - not releasing a letter by the accuser until the confirmation process was nearing its end - "will not stop the Senate from moving forward in a responsible manner". Kavanaugh, who has denied the assault allegation, met with officials at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day.

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

White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp said Tuesday on America's Newsroom that the White House is standing behind Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite the sexual assault accusation against him.

Hill endured a brutal assault on her personal reputation in hearings and in conservative media and the all-male Republicans on the committee ultimately backed Thomas.

Grassley did not rule out the suggestion when asked during the radio show. He's an outstanding intellect, an outstanding judge respected by everybody, never had even a little blemish on his record.

Committee Democrats, already fiercely opposed to the nominee, wrote a letter to Mr Grassley objecting to the planned format of the hearing, which was announced yesterday, including having just Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford as witnesses.

Feinstein said late on Monday that with Hill's allegations the FBI had carried out an investigation. Ford is anything but a Trump supporter, and if one's predilections can influence one's memories, and, according to behavioral psychologists, they certainly can, her essentially uncorroborated tale remains suspect. "But as you know they say this is not really their thing", Trump said. "The Senators will do a good job". Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have blasted Democrats for the way in which the accusation came out - at the 11th hour, while for six weeks, the senior Democrat on the committee, Sen. It said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had forwarded to the White House a letter, evidently from Ford, describing alleged misconduct in the 1980s by Kavanaugh.

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