Official Washington scrambles over Kavanaugh allegations - 9/17/2018 11:11:29 AM

Donald Trump Jr. is interviewed by host Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel television program in New York

Even if Democrats peel off the one Republican vote to not recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate, Republicans have another option. All 10 Democrats on the committee signed a letter urging Grassley to delay the vote.

"I talked to [Kavanaugh] on the phone today...[he said] he didn't do that, and he wasn't at the party", Hatch said.

Schumer was discussing the allegation levied by Christine Blasey Ford, who recently stepped forward and shared her claims with the Washington Post. "His nomination should be put on hold until those hearing are complete".

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and the other nine Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee had called for a delay Monday in its consideration of the nomination until the Federal Bureau of Investigation can look into sexual assault allegations against him.

Putting new pressure on Republican Senators who would like to ram through a vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, the attorney for the woman who has accused him of attempted rape has said her client is willing to testify about the sexual assault she says took place when the two were in high school. Her attorney, Debra Katz, told CNN that Ford would be willing to testify before Congress and stood by her story in the face of expected push-back.

Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old psychology professor, said an intoxicated Kavanaugh cornered her in a bedroom during a party in the early '80s.

The allegation against Kavanaugh became public last week. He added he had "never done anything like what the accuser describes".

After word of a high-school-era sexual misconduct allegation against Kavanaugh emerged last Thursday afternoon, Meghan McCaleb launched the letter-writing effort, contacting friends who contacted more friends, she said. He said "standard procedure" calls for starting with follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford but that the office of Sen.

Across multiple morning shows Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said she'd spoken with Trump extensively about Kavanaugh and Ford.

The Democrats have written Iowa GOP Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, also called for slowing the process.

Yet a few Republicans have suggested there may have to be a delay, at least in the Judiciary vote on the nominee - which was scheduled for this Thursday - in order to hear from Ford. Murkowski said Ford's story "must be taken seriously". Marsha Blackburn, the Democrat insisted that Ford "should be heard". Kavanaugh has since said that he too would be willing to testify under oath as well.

"I hope they will be given the opportunity to do that as quickly as possible", Manchin said.

Kavanaugh, 53, whose confirmation had seemed to be on a smooth trajectory, went to the White House on Monday.

After initially guarding her anonymity, Ford "decided to take control of this and tell this in her own voice" after the allegations were leaked, Katz said.

Trump picked Kavanaugh to replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sided with the court's liberal wing.

"This is a completely false allegation", he said in a statement issued through the White House on Monday morning.

The White House is standing behind Kavanaugh as the allegation threatens his nomination. The development offered some respite to several vulnerable Democrats who are facing re-election in Republican-leaning states and who had avoided taking a firm position on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by only a narrow margin, meaning any defections could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump, who has been engaged in a so-far successful effort since becoming president previous year to move the Supreme Court and broader federal judiciary to the right.

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