Brett Kavanaugh: Senate sets deadline for accuser testimony

The message and positive tone of the attorney's email breathed new life into the possibility that the panel would hold a dramatic hearing at which both Ford and Kavanaugh could give their versions of what happened at a party in the 1980s in a Maryland suburb of Washington.

Chuck Grassley, Ford's attorneys said an FBI investigation needed to come first.

He has also cast fresh doubt on whether the alleged attack even happened.

"And so this whole thing is: You have the power of the White House, Kavanaugh over here. We'll have to make a decision", he told reporters.

The Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee says he has sought interviews with "two other alleged witnesses" over Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teens.

Trump calls Kavanaugh an "outstanding man" and says it's "very hard" for him to imagine anything happened.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has rejected Democrats calls to delay Monday's Must See TV hearing in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was scheduled to debate his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford has said she wants the FBI to investigate her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s.

"Dr. Ford was reluctantly thrust into the public spotlight only two days ago", Ford's attorney said in a statement Wednesday.

The timetable brought cries of protest from Democrats, who have called on the FBI to investigate the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, a professor from California, and to expand the number of witnesses who would be called beyond Ford and Kavanaugh.

The FBI was involved originally since it handles part of the background checks for presidential nominations of Supreme Court justices. Neither one of those options is useful if she wants to stop Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

"Even what she's done so far would impact my thinking, but not almost as much as if she sat there and I had a chance to question her", Bredesen said.

"If she shows up and makes a credible showing that'll be very interesting".

While Republican lawmakers are willing to hear testimony from Ford, they have demurred Democratic lawmakers and Ford's request for an FBI investigation.

That underscores a desire to avoid antagonising female voters at a time when the #MeToo movement has made sexual abuse a major political dynamic.

There were signs the GOP moves were keeping possible Republican defections in check.

Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault - and Kavanaugh's staunch denial - has ignited a tense, gender-infused war among the Senate's 100 members, 23 of whom are women. Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegations. Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Wednesday also offered to send his staff to Ford, "at a time and place convenient to her".

Katz reiterated that Ford, now a psychology professor in California, has received death threats and for safety reasons has relocated her family.

The other, whose subject line reads, "Hi, Ashley", said she should tell her husband to "put a bullet in his ... skull". "Who is not asking the FBI to investigate these claims?"

Ford initially agreed to testify before the committee, but later backtracked. She asserted that Republicans are rushing to confirm Kavanaugh because the court's "session is going to start in October and the President wants his guy there to, he hopes, help him evade criminal or civil proceedings". "I think it all depends on what she decides to do". Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, told CNN on Wednesday.

  • Marlene Weaver