Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Grassley says there's 'no reason for any further delay' on Kavanaugh hearing

Grassley says there's 'no reason for any further delay' on Kavanaugh hearing

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein is playing a central role in the battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. But in the days since she publicly accused Kavanaugh of the assault when they were teens at a party 35 years ago, the lawyers said, she has been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats".

Ford's lawyers said on Tuesday, however, that she wants her allegations to be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation before she appears at a U.S. Senate hearing.

Meanwhile, Ford's lawyer has said she would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Kavanaugh vote (while senators say they're still waiting for her to confirm), subjecting herself to scrutiny regarding an interaction that left an impact on her life, if not traumatized her.

A spokesman for the committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kavanaugh said in a statement on Monday that Ford made "a completely false allegation".

"In fact, I have no memory of this alleged incident". At a protest in front of the court when President Trump named Kavanaugh, there were signs reading "Stop Hardiman", "Stop Kethledge", and "Stop Kavanaugh" on site, just in case.

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before the November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to take control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans, which would be a major blow to the president's agenda.

The most vulnerable Democratic senators, including Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have not indicated whether they would side with most of their party members in opposing Kavanaugh.

Ford did not tell anyone about the incident at the time, but The Washington Post reviewed notes from a therapist she saw in 2012 detailing the incident.

Collins said that in a telephone conversation with Kavanaugh on Friday, he was "absolutely emphatic" that the assault didn't occur, and she said it would be "disqualifying" if Kavanaugh was lying.

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"We just don't know what happened 36 years ago", he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, and Kevin de Leon, a Democrat in the California state Senate, rarely have much in common.

"Not only do women like Dr. Ford, who bravely comes forward, need to be heard, but they need to be believed".

Mr. Manley recalls his time as a young staffer in the Senate when Anita Hill accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said on radio's "Hugh Hewitt Show" said that he'd not yet received confirmation from Ford that she would appear at the hearing, despite several attempts to reach her camp.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

With women in open rebellion, an unanticipated #MeToo drama five weeks before the midterms is a nightmare scenario for McConnell, threatening his Kavanaugh confirmation timetable on the one hand and an even greater breach with women voters on the other.

She did not say that Ford has a duty to testify but rather the question is whether Senators will give her a real chance to speak instead of a "sham proceeding". The Supreme Court nominee denies committing the assault that Ford described.

Kavanaugh has said that he is willing to testify on this matter "if the Senate is willing to hear him", according to White House spokesman Raj Shah. Democrats will use Monday's hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women.

Perhaps Feinstein is hoping there is a crime lurking somewhere in the thousands of forms and other statements made by Judge Kavanaugh during or before his nomination, in which he denied an event such as is now being alleged, and he is therefore and somehow guilty of lying?

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