US Top Court Nominee Accuser Agrees To Testify On Sex Assault Allegation

Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh

Lindsey Graham, one of the 11 Republicans who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, made it clear Sunday that while he is willing to hear out Christine Blasey Ford about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, he has not heard enough evidence to "ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this".

But attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford say in a letter to the committee's Republican majority that they want to set up a time later Saturday to keep discussing terms of Ford's appearance.

Ms Ford, a 51-year-old California psychology professor, claims an inebriated Mr Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.

Grassley has been tweeting about the potential hearing regarding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh since September 19, saying that he and his colleagues wanted to hear from her and would "treat this situation with the sensitivity it deserves".

The president's comments infuriated Democrats, dismayed many Republicans and risked further alienating women voters ahead of the November 6 mid-term elections, in which Democrats have a chance to win control of the House and perhaps the Senate.

Trump's Friday tweets contrasted with comments earlier in the week when he said Ford should be heard, even if it meant a delay in the confirmation process.

He also reinterred his full support for Judge Kavanaugh who he described as a "fine man, with an impeccable reputation".

Donald Trump delivers remarks on his supreme court nominee. Will Donald Trump and Senate Republicans stand with Kavanaugh, or will they pick a new nominee?

A possible witness who Ford said was at the party where Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her said she has no recollection of attending it.

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Ford also requested that at no point during any potential hearing would she be in the same room as Kavanaugh.

If the hearing proceeds, Republicans will be forced to walk a careful line in questioning Ford's account without alienating women voters ahead of the elections.

Among their list of requests, Ford's lawyers asked that the committee only allow senators to ask questions and that Ford be able to call other witnesses. Grassley lamented in a tweet Friday that with all the deadline extensions, he felt like he was playing "2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra", and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was the conductor.

Tensions have been running on overdrive since Ford went public last week with her allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they in high school.

"I think Dr. Ford has come forward understanding what she was going to face", Sen.

Kavanaugh had seemed to gain momentum among Republican senators this week, with growing numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those who'd voiced concern about Ford's charges stopping short of expressing opposition to Kavanaugh.

Ford's representatives and Senate negotiators zeroed in on an arrangement for her to tell her story in a Thursday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to people familiar with the situation.

Earlier on Saturday, a senior official at the White House said Ms Ford's requests amounted to "a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday".

"Bullying a survivor of attempted rape in order to confirm a nominee - particularly at a time when she's receiving death threats - is an extreme abuse of power", said Sen.

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