Senate Hearing on Accusations Against Kavanaugh in Doubt

Pauline Gross
September 19, 2018

The woman who accused U.S. President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault wants her allegations to be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation before she appears before a Senate committee considering his nomination, one of her lawyers said on Tuesday.

"The FBI conducted a background check on Judge Kavanaugh before these allegations were known", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday on the Senate floor.

"Dr. Ford may have been forced into the limelight against her will, just as Anita Hill was, but the treatment she receives should be different", wrote Lapidus. Ford told the Washington Post that in 1982, when she was 15 and he was 17, Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, groped her, tried to take off her clothes, and covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming. In the letter, Ford said she had received medical treatment after the assault, adding that "it is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything".

A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford made the request in a letter to Sen.

On Sunday evening, a pair of outgoing Republican senators said outright that the Senate Judiciary Committee should not vote on Kavanaugh's nomination until they talk to his accuser.

Heller said last week he had "no reservations" about voting to confirm Kavanaugh.

"Nothing the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay", he wrote.

Blasey Ford has not confirmed whether she will testify publicly Monday, threatening what was expected to be a historic showdown with Kavanaugh.

"What about other witnesses like Kavanaugh's friend Mark Judge?"

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"I feel so badly for him that he's going through this", Trump said during the joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. But, you know what, I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee [.] Really, guess who's perpetuating all of these kind of actions?

And in Tennessee, where Democrat Phil Bredesen is running against Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn for a Senate seat, the Democrat insisted that Ford "should be heard". The party already suffered a setback in delaying a Thursday vote to recommend Kavanaugh to a full Senate hearing after key Republicans said they would be uncomfortable moving forward without Blasey's testimony.

Both Kavanaugh and his accuser, professor Christine Blasey Ford, will testify.

While there's little question that we are very late in Kavanaugh's confirmation process, Ford sent a letter to Democratic California Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Judiciary Committee member who has clashed bitterly with Trump and is retiring from the Senate.

Ford's lawyer Debra Katz told The New York Times Sunday that Feinstein "did well by [Ford], and we do think that people took this decision away from her, and that's wrong". "Neither the Judiciary Committee nor the full Senate should vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court until that takes place".

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. Dean Heller is in a hard fight for re-election, his Democratic challenger, Rep. Jacky Rosen, used the allegation against Kavanaugh to stoke doubt about Heller's judgment.

John Feehery, a Republican strategist, says the #MeToo movement is not just about justice - it's also about punishing those who have been in power for a long time.

Ford's allegations come almost a year after the #MeToo movement was popularised following the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, who has since been charged with rape and other sexual crimes.

Other reports by GizPress

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