Hearing Monday on Brett Kavanaugh claims

Saul Bowman
September 19, 2018

Matt Barber, co-founder and chief counsel of Christian Civil Rights Watch, says Republicans deserve blame, too, for backtracking on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh over allegations by Christine Blasey Ford of a sexual assault in the 1980s.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for next Monday, a congressional source tells CNN. Mr Grassley said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

"While the committee unquestionably needs to hear from both, there are other relevant witnesses who should be questioned under oath, in a public setting", the Democrats said in their letter. "There's a lot of things that I've done when I was a teenager that I'm certainly ashamed of and not proud of", he said.

"I want to hear from Dr. Ford", Grassley said.

"If Republicans attack Dr. Ford and this turns into anything like what we saw in 1991, women across the country are going to rise up and make their voice heard and Republicans will pay a very huge price", Murray said.

While Ford initially sought to keep her allegation confidential, she said she opted to go public once the allegation emerged in the public eye and reporters began pursuing her. But Kavanaugh appeared to be on track for confirmation before word leaked last Friday that Feinstein's office had handed over Ford's letter to authorities.

After initially suggesting a private conference call on the matter would suffice, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said his panel would hold a hearing next Monday "to provide ample transparency". Then, the week before the committee was set to vote to advance Kavanaugh to the full Senate for confirmation, Feinstein announced she has referred the letter to the FBI for a criminal investigation against Kavanaugh. Thursday's committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination has been delayed as a result.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from NY, said an FBI investigation is "essential" to prevent the hearing from becoming merely a he said-she said affair.

"She is a person of integrity", Leahy said of Feinstein. "She's surely prepared. She hired a lawyer, I understand, back in August".

"This is different circumstances, occurring in a whole different time", says Manley, warning about "blowback" if Republicans try to overreach and impugn Ford's motives for coming forward.

"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", she was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

On Monday, the FBI explained that it had been made aware of the allegation against Kavanaugh, but said it had not taken action because it did not involve "any potential federal crime".

Ford told the Washington post, that she left the main room of the party to use the restroom, which was at the top of a narrow stairway.

The hearing represents a potential make-or-break moment for the conservative federal appeals court judge's confirmation chances for the lifetime post on the top USA court, as Trump seeks to continue his goal of moving the federal judiciary to the right.

If the Judiciary committee's timetable slips, it would become increasingly hard for Republicans to schedule a vote before midterm elections on November 6 elections, when congressional control will be at stake.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was seen arriving to the West Wing just past 10 a.m. ET on Monday, swiftly ducking into the building after stepping from a black SUV.

Ford said in the interview with the newspaper that Kavanaugh threw her down on a bed, grinding his body against hers and trying to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she was wearing over it. Ford said when she tried to scream, he put his hand over her mouth.

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