Trump questions court pick Kavanaugh's accuser, says opponents want to 'destroy' nominee

Nellie Chapman
September 22, 2018

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters Thursday who flooded Senate office buildings to voice opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and express support for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. I'm extending the deadline for response yet again to 10 o'clock this evening.

Grassley's committee wants prepared testimony from Ford by Friday and an answer on whether she will accept its invitation to testify to the panel on Monday, either publicly or privately. Kavanaugh has said the allegation is "completely false".

The Republican-controlled Senate judiciary panel has struggled on how to proceed with Kavanaugh's nomination. President Trump spent most of the week saying Ford deserved to be heard but Friday morning he questioned why Ford hadn't reported the incident at the time and instead waited decades to come forward. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!" His Republican party accuses the Democrats of using Ford as a last-minute spoiler to try and wreck Kavanaugh's path to the highest court, where he would tilt the bench firmly to the right for possibly years to come.

President Donald Trump has challenged the woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, demanding she provide evidence.

"We know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist", Collins said, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The lawyers said Ford was opposed to being questioned by outside counsel, according to Politico.

Following the Post's report on Ford's account, multiple West Wing officials and outside advisers feverishly phoned Trump on Sunday in the wake of Ford's detailed account of the assault.

Ford has said that at a party when she was 15 and he was 17, a highly intoxicated Kavanaugh pushed her onto a bed, groped her, and tried to take off her clothes.

More recently, he continued to endorse Alabama's Republican candidate for Senate, Roy Moore, as accusations of sexual assault mounted.

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Biden, who chaired the Thomas hearing and is considering running for president, said he regrets the way Hill was treated.

Ford and Senate Democrats had demanded the FBI first reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation to include her claims.

Testifying Monday, however, "is not possible and the Committee's insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event", Ford's lawyers wrote. The answers people in this case might give to FBI investigators could be suggestive in terms of what they say they remember, what they deny and what level of detail they are willing to volunteer - mindful about the potential penalty for lying.

"I want to see what she [Prof Ford] has to say but I want to give it all the time they need", the Republican president said.

Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller, who is facing a hard re-election race, told supporters on a conference call the accusations were a "hiccup" and that Kavanaugh would be confirmed, according to a report in the Nevada Independent.

"We know because Brett Kavanaugh is a good man", she said.

Ford's lawyer Debra Katz said earlier in an email to committee staff that Ford would be willing to testify under "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety" after she had received death threats.

Both have agreed to testify before a Senate committee. That word from her attorney could breathe new life into the prospect of a dramatic Senate showdown next week over Ford's accusation that he assaulted her when both were in high school. Kavanaugh's confirmation to the lifetime position would be the second of the Trump administration and solidify conservative control of the nation's top court.

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