Woman accusing Kavanaugh of assault wants FBI investigation

Conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh appeared set to sail through Senate confirmation for the vacancy on the nation's top court until a California professor publicly accused him of having sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers nearly four decades ago.

On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was asked if she had heard from any other women about Kavanaugh. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and she escaped when the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees Supreme Court nominations, is due to meet next Monday and has invited Ms Ford and Mr Kavanaugh to testify.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he had "a lot of questions" for Kavanaugh.

The nominee, who denies the claim, has met officials at the White House for a second day.

Just days before the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on the Kavanaugh nomination, a woman named Christine Blasey Ford came forward with sexual assault allegations dating back to the 1980s.

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

Kavanaugh has said in a statement that he "unequivocally" denies the accusation. "You don't wait until the hearing is over and then, all of a sudden, bring it up", Trump said.

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Bruno said focusing on the young ages of Kavanaugh and Ford during the alleged assault - Ford was 15 - and the many years that have elapsed misses a larger point.

Prof Ford, a psychology lecturer in California, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to remove her clothing in 1982 when they were both teenagers in a Washington DC suburb.

Republicans are hoping to win committee and full Senate approval for Kavanaugh this month, before the new Supreme Court session begins, and have shown no taste for slowing that process.

Democrats, already opposed to Mr Kavanaugh, have sought an FBI investigation into Ms Ford's claims, a request Republicans rebuffed. "If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know, they say this is not really their thing".

Republicans are suggesting that Ford will have one chance to testify, and one chance only.

He added that he wants to hear what Ford has to say about her accusations. She says that ever since she has spoken about the "truth", she has been receiving death threats and hate online. "I think they're going to do a good job".

The Republican leader criticized Democrats for sitting on the information during weeks of debate on Kavanaugh's nomination. Judge, who has written about his teenage alcoholism, said he had no memory of the party at issue and had never seen Kavanaugh behave in the manner she described.

The GOP chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said an FBI investigation wouldn't have bearing on Ford's testimony so "there is no reason for further delay".

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