Continetti: It Was ‘Apparent’ Democrats Wanted to Delay Confirmation Hearings Past Election

The discussion revived the possibility that the panel would hold an electrifying campaign season hearing at which both Ford and President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee could give their versions of what did or didn't happen at a party in the 1980s.

That's why, when Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago, it struck Cordes as the latest example of the ceaseless - and needless - drama in the capital. Kavanaugh, now a judge on the powerful US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has repeatedly denied her allegation.

McConnell essentially disregarded Ford's hearing before it has even occurred, saying with certainty on Friday that Kavanaugh will be confirmed soon.

Asking Kavanaugh to go first is "not doable", according to the source, noting he would need to respond to any new accusation that comes up at the hearing.

"Beyond the Senate, Republicans are bracing for the impact of Monday's scheduled hearing and the political consequences of an unpredictable and likely emotional session that could expand a Senate matter into a defining moment for the party, especially if Grassley or other Republican men aggressively question Ford about her personal life and the alleged assault".

After initially saying through a lawyer on Monday that she was willing to appear, Ms Ford has since said she first wants a full FBI investigation of her accusation. The committee has also invited Kavanaugh to testify on Monday. "She needs to have the FBI investigate".

In a separate letter to Democrats, Mr Grassley wrote that committee aides were "even willing to fly to California, or anywhere else, to meet her".

Grassley declined an earlier request by Ford to have the FBI investigate her allegation against Kavanaugh.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh have agreed to testify before Congress as early as next week, but some have wondered if Ford will get a fair hearing.

"There are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding", Ford's lawyer Lisa Banks said.

Ford's allegation has jeopardized Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifetime post on the Supreme Court, which previously was on track toward confirmation.

Why did you make that decision? But Bozell also said that Ford's "interpretation might be a lot different than what happened".

"If she shows up, that would be wonderful".

Twelve of Prof Ford's family members have written an open letter, posted on Twitter, in which they call her "highly ethical", adding that "her honesty is above reproach". Grassley said he was disturbed to learn of the threats.

The summit, a gathering of conservatives who support "traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government", comes almost seven weeks ahead of the midterm elections, which will decide control of the House and Senate.

Any defections from the Republicans' narrow Senate majority could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump, who has been appointing more conservatives to the high court and the broader federal judiciary.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican who supports abortion rights and is expected to be a swing vote on Kavanaugh, said she was "appalled by the President's tweet", the Associated Press reported. At a press conference Tuesday, Trump said Kavanaugh was "not a man that deserves this", and that "I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredibly, lovely woman, handsome young daughters".

Following the president's controversial comments, the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport began trending on Twitter, with thousands sharing personal stories of sexual harassment and assault. The allegation has jarred Kavanaugh's prospects for winning Senate confirmation to be a justice, which until Ford's emergence last week had seemed all but certain.

Palo Alto University issued a statement supporting Ford. To make his point, he re-enacted what a conversation might be like between Ford and law enforcement.

If her case is not credible, Fleischer said, then Republicans have a "clear shot" at confirming Kavanaugh.

Maura Fitzgerald, a friend since high school, said: "The allegation against Brett is inconsistent with everything that I have known about him as a person".

Earlier today, Axios reported that Trump's staffers have been in "overdrive" trying to keep him from attacking Ford. He has told advisers that he is skeptical of Ford's account and the timing of the allegation, these advisers said.


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