Republicans set Monday vote on Kavanaugh if no deal for hearing

Kavanaugh accuser looks to negotiate conditions to testify later next week

Kavanaugh's Sexual Assault Accuser Open to Testifying on Her Terms

"The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth", Banks said.

But perhaps more significantly were his words of praise for Kavanaugh, who is battling accusations from a California psychology professor that he assaulted her 36 years ago when both were high school students in the Washington DC area.

Without a hearing Monday, or at the very latest Wednesday, as Grassley had offered, confirming Kavanaugh before the start of the Supreme Court's new term becomes virtually impossible. Democrats have demanded more time for scrutiny and Republicans want to move ahead quickly with a confirmation vote in an increasingly volatile political climate ahead of the November 6 congressional elections.

Meanwhile, Ford's lawyers continue to tussle with Republican leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee about when, if ever, she will appear before the committee to testify.

In an email to judiciary committee staff, Ford's lawyer Debra Katz called the deadline arbitrary. Grassley stated that if Team Ford didn't respond by then, or if Ford decided not to testify, the Committee would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination on Monday. Ford said she thought Kavanaugh "might inadvertently kill me" as he "was trying to attack me and remove my clothing".

She said she is willing to testify at earliest on Thursday.

Trump tweeted this morning, "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents".

When asked what evidence she's referring to, Severino pointed to the lack of any kind of known pattern of similar behavior, plus women who knew Kavanaugh at the time and women who dated him saying the allegations do not match the Brett Kavanaugh they know.

Ford has said she didn't tell anyone at the time about the incident. It's telling that the president tweeted out that "facts don't matter".

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Doing so would nearly certainly evoke the panel's handing of Hill and potentially alienate suburban women voters who could decide the elections and control of the House and Senate. He would know. As he campaigned for president, 16 women had accused him of sexual assault, including on the set of The Apprentice.

That is what happened in 1991 when an attorney named Anita Hill brought allegations about sexual harassment against her former colleague Clarence Thomas, who was under consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Trump told Hannity on Thursday night that the Senate Judiciary Committee should move swiftly to finish vetting Kavanaugh.

"So we'll let it play out, and I think everything is going to be just fine".

McConnell's goal has been to confirm Kavanaugh by October 1, the start of the Supreme Court term. "I think it all depends on what she decides to do".

Mr Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has repeatedly denied the accusation.

"Judge Kavanaugh has not asked to have the FBI investigate these claims".

She wants the FBI to investigate to establish a baseline of facts about what she and others say before she'll agree to talk to the Judiciary Committee, especially in a public hearing.

Cornyn said Thursday that he sees no reason to call additional witnesses, noting that the committee already held a full hearing on President Trump's nominee.

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