Kavanaugh accuser demands Federal Bureau of Investigation probe before testifying

19 September, 2018, 20:43 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Trump feels 'terribly' for Kavanaugh; Dems want FBI probe

The status of a public hearing set for Monday into the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh remained in doubt after lawyers for the woman accusing the judge of sexual misconduct say they want a thorough FBI investigation into the matter before testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The cause of McConnell's ire was the late-breaking allegation from Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist, that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, a charge that threatens to upend a confirmation which seemed assured just days ago.

Ford has stated through her attorney Debra Katz that she is willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding her allegations.

With his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, slated to testify Monday before the House Judiciary Committee during a high-stakes hearing that could derail his Supreme Court nomination, some Kavanaugh backers have tried to compare her account to benign forms of adolescent flirtation.

Lisa Banks, an attorney for Ford, told CNN her client was dealing with "hate mail, harassment, death threats" and that her immediate focus was protecting herself and her family. Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, has repeatedly denied the allegations. The president said he was "totally supporting" Kavanaugh and rejected calls for the FBI to investigate the accusation.

The most vulnerable Democratic senators, including Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have not indicated whether they would side with most of their party members in opposing Kavanaugh.

Ford, now a psychology professor at California's Palo Alto University, gave her description of her encounter with Kavanaugh to The Washington Post in an interview published Sunday. "She had this meeting, (with Kavanaugh) why didn't she bring it up?" Speaking to reporters on Monday, President Trump said, "if it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay".

"I believe Dr Ford".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, and Kevin de Leon, a Democrat in the California state Senate, rarely have much in common.

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"As I said earlier, anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard".

For Republicans, who wanted Kavanaugh confirmed in time for the start of the new Supreme Court session, beginning October 1, a week or two would throw that timeline off. The Times asked a Newport Beach police spokesperson why it took so long for the arrests to be made, and was told the "evidence initially did not meet the standard to make an arrest".

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections, in which Democrats seek to win control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh has been calling Republican senators, and John Kennedy of Louisiana said the nominee was committed to moving forward.

In response to the letter, Grassley wrote that the invitation for a Monday hearing "still stands".

He added that Kavanaugh was "anxious" to answer the accusations against him, while acknowledging that the testimony would hold up his confirmation.

Trump said he feels "terribly" for Kavanaugh and the judge's wife and daughters, because they've been caught in the middle of a Democratic effort to "obstruct" his presidency.

But Ford has also documented a session in which she told her therapist about the alleged episode six years ago, and she reached out to The Washington Post before Kavanaugh was Trump's nominee (but while he was on Trump's shortlist). Republicans hope to have him confirmed by the October 1 start of the next Supreme Court term. They said the Republican hard line showed they'd learned nothing from the 1991 hearings when Anita Hill's claims of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, were dismissed by the all-male Judiciary panel.

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