Woman Claims She Heard About Christine Blasey Ford Allegation In 1980s

UNITED STATES- NOVEMBER 16 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. talks with an aide in the Capitol after the House passed the GOP's tax reform bill

Tom Williams CQPHO

But top Republicans, including some who have expressed concern about Kavanaugh in light of the allegations, are indicating that they plan to vote on President Donald Trump's second nominee to the nation's high court if Ford doesn't appear before the panel on Monday.

Ford on Tuesday suggested in a letter from her legal team that she would be unwilling to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee until the FBI investigated the matter to ensure committee members are fully informed about the allegations.

"I think he's on track, very much on track", Trump said.

Still, the risks of a public hearing starring the all-male lineup of Republicans on the committee could be high.

But amid uncertainty over Kavanaugh's fate and even whether next Monday's scheduled hearing would occur, Trump cast fresh doubt on whether the alleged 1980s attack even happened.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told CNN that an additional FBI investigation "would be done" if the current committee chairman, Sen. Democrats are asking for an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry before the matter goes to a US Senate Judiciary Committee while Republicans are backing Kavanaugh, raising questions over the timing of such accusations.

Although Feinstein was told of Ford's claims in July and has vouched for her, she told Fox News on Tuesday that she "can't say everything's truthful". Other Republicans are suggesting that Ford will have only this one opportunity to testify. "They've delayed a major hearing", Trump said.

"We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story", the letter reads. "The invitation for Monday still stands".

Ford has said she was willing to testify. Republicans said late Tuesday they were considering hiring outside attorneys, presumably including women, to question the witnesses.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had forwarded the initial letter from Sen. "The F.B.I. conducts background checks on judicial nominees". On Sunday, The Washington Post published a story that detailed Ford's personal account of an incident that Ford said took place when she and Kavanaugh were both in high school. She also alleges that Kavanaugh put her hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream.

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Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has firmly denied the allegation.

President Trump did not refer to Kavanaugh's accuser by name, just calling her "the woman".

'I have no memory of this alleged incident, ' he wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee sent via his attorney.

"I support Senator Grassley's decision to have these 11th-hour allegations thoroughly reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and weighed against Judge Kavanaugh's decades of public service, sterling record on the bench, outstanding personal reputation, and his unequivocal denial of the allegations", the Indianapolis Star quoted Braun as saying.

Meanwhile Mr Trump has said he is not anxious about what his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is co-operating with the U.S. special counsel's probe into Russian election meddling, will tell prosecutors, as long as he is truthful. "If she doesn't show up, that would be unfortunate", he said.

"Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process", Banks said. What Democrats want now is the same thing they have wanted all along: To see the nomination stall so they can demand it be withdrawn. She says she escaped when Judge jumped on the bed.

"We should honour Dr Blasey Ford's wishes and delay this hearing", Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement to AP.

But Jones says the FBI is well-equipped to conduct a quick investigation and interview potential witnesses. "Only then should the chairman set a hearing date", Feinstein said.

Trump repeated earlier statements that he is in favour of allowing both the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and Kavanaugh to speak before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "We're better than this".

In the Senate, the issue of when and if Ford might testify has ignited a furor, especially among Democratic women.

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