Kavanaugh and accuser to testify in Senate

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Yesterday, Christine Blasey Ford came forward as the alleged sexual assault victim of President Trump's recent Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

A Judiciary committee statement Sunday accused Democrats of hiding Ford's allegations until the eve of the committee vote. There are emails showing that Kavanaugh coordinated meetings with and about Pickering; that he drafted remarks, letters to people on the Hill and at least one op-ed for then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales about Pickering; that he advised Gonzales on Pickering strategy; and much more.

Republicans and the Trump White House argue that isn't the FBI's role. The Justice Department seems to agree. "The goal of a background investigation is to determine whether the nominee could pose a risk to the national security of the United States". Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told "The Hugh Hewitt Show", Fox News reported.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of trying to attack her and remove her clothing while he was drunk 36 years ago in a Maryland suburb outside Washington when they were students at different high schools. She sent a letter to her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, in July, which made its way to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Mrs Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, detailed her allegations in the Washington Post at the weekend. Like Kavanaugh, Thomas denied he had acted inappropriately.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh was at the White House for a second straight day.

The president said he had not spoken on Monday with his nominee, who was spending part of the day at the White House. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes-to her or to anyone. "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone".

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 US court, as Trump seeks to continue his goal of moving the federal judiciary to the right.

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh looks on during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing September 4, 2018. Kavanaugh has categorically denied Ford's claims, and the testimony of 200 women - who call him a "perfect gentleman" - backs him up. "We are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims". Ford said Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Murkowski said Ford's story "must be taken seriously".

Grassley said the hearing would be televised and would include just two witnesses, Ford and Kavanaugh.

"It's been hard for Blasey Ford over the years, [Blasey Ford] told [Rebecca] White, because the judge's name would come up as 'a super powerful guy and he might be a contender for a Supreme Court position one day'".

Republicans, he says, feel that this is in their grasp and they do not want to do anything to cause things to go off the rails.

Fitzgerald said she was "absolutely shocked" at the allegations against Kavanaugh and said they are "the polar opposite of the Brett Kavanaugh that I've known for over 35 years". "And I'm going to be respectful, and I hope my colleagues will be too".

Grassley scheduled the hearing - and postponed a scheduled Thursday committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination - after Ford's lawyer on Monday said Ford was "willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth".

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.

Then again, this new allegation has already cast a massive shadow over Kavanaugh's nomination.

Democrats are desperate to block Kavanaugh's appointment because they believe he could help overturn Roe vs Wade, the landmark ruling that protects legal access to abortion, as well as protections for racial minorities, unions and the environment.

In another example, Kavanaugh had worked to advance multiple controversial judicial nominations from President George W. Bush during a time when a Republican Senate staffer named Manuel Miranda accessed and downloaded thousands of computer files belonging to Democratic senators. But privately aides wondered how long the President would go without tweeting on the matter, which has upset him and jeopardized, for now, a history-making opportunity to reshape the high court.

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