Kavanaugh Accuser Wants to Talk to Senate; Terms Up in Air

Battle lines drawn for Senate showdown on Trump court nominee

Battle lines drawn for Senate showdown on Trump court nominee

Christine Blasey Ford's charge that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago crumpled late Saturday when the final witness Ford identified failed to back her story.

Some reports say she will testify on Wednesday or Thursday.

Regardless of whether sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stick or not, Danielle McLaughlin says the Republican Party is unlikely to come out of this saga unscathed.

After Grassley set a hearing for Monday, Democrats demanded a delay to allow time for the FBI to investigate Ford's claim.

Predictably, the poll was split along gender and lines: Democrats overwhelmingly believe Ford; Republicans overwhelmingly believe Kavanaugh.

A senior White House official deemed it a stalling tactic and an effort to "push off" the confirmation vote. Ford's attorney said she could not be there until later in the week.

"Simply put", Walsh said, "Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford".

Kavanaugh has said he wanted to testify before the committee to refute the allegation, and Ford's attorneys have told the committee that she has accepted their request for testimony.

With Kavanaugh's nomination hanging in the balance, and a poll showing he is the least popular supreme court nominee for more than 30 years, Trump waded into the row by impugning Ford's credibility. Meantime, he outlined plans of attack, including ginning up questions about what Kavanaugh "knew and when he knew it" about allegations of sexual misconduct by a federal judge he once clerked for.

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"With all the extensions we give Dr. Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I'm playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor", he said.

The previous deadline for resolving the disputes was set at 10pm on Friday but Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, rejected it as arbitrary and a bullying tactic.

Kavanaugh, for his part, has categorically denied the allegation both publicly and during a committee staff interview conducted last week "under penalty of felony".

After days of avoiding a commitment to testify - claiming everything from a fear of flying to failing to understand the dress code - Ford now says she's willing to face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, provided the Committee makes certain accommodations which Ford and her legal team have yet to specify.

Indeed, Feinstein said, "We should delay this hearing". It's only after her testimony that a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation can take place in the Senate.

Grassley had said earlier that the panel would hold a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on Monday unless a deal was reached with Ford's lawyers by Friday night's deadline.

Grassley rebuffed other Ford requests, including calling additional witnesses. She has said that Ford feels rushed and is busy meeting with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents over death threats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has tried to project an image of caring about proper process, told supporters on Friday morning that "in the very near future Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States' Supreme Court!"

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