Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court pick, on Monday called a woman's allegation that he sexually assaulted her 36 years ago "completely false", while a lawyer said the accuser is willing to publicly testify before a Senate panel that is scheduled to vote this week on his nomination.
The White House would not comment further. There was no immediate explanation of the reason for his visit.
ABC News has not confirmed details of the letter's contents or seen the letter. However, the woman in question made it clear she did not want this information to be public.
"If the committee is to hear from Ms. Ford it should be done immediately so the process can continue as scheduled", Graham, a member of the committee, said in a statement.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said sworn testimony from both Kavanaugh and Ford on the specific allegation should be considered as part of the record in the judge's hearings.
"This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored".
"She should testify under oath".
"If Ms. Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh", Graham said in a statement. She also said she wants the FBI to investigate the matter before the Senate advances Kavanaugh's nomination. On Monday morning, her attorney said she's be willing to testify to the Senate.
Hill said in a statement to Politico, "The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly hard to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power".
The existence of the letter was first reported by the online news outlet, The Intercept, on Wednesday. Sixty-five senators met individually with Judge Kavanaugh during a almost two-month period before the hearing began, yet Feinstein didn't share this with her colleagues ahead of many of those discussions.
Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says. Notes from the therapist obtained by the Post show that Ford mentioned an incident with boys from "from an elitist boys' school", but do not single out Kavanaugh by name.
A split over the nomination seemed to be emerging among the GOP.
Kavanaugh was seen arriving at the White House, with no immediate reason given, while all 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote the panel's Republican chairman asking him to postpone a scheduled Thursday vote on the nominee to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation more time to investigate. Republicans are aiming for full Senate confirmation of Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court term begins October 1. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep.
A potential "no" vote from Flake would complicate the judge's prospects.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has completed its hearings on Kavanaugh and plans to vote on Thursday on his nomination. Bob Corker of Tennessee, said the vote should be postponed until the committee heard from Ford.
The confirmation battle over the Kavanaugh nomination might well come down to what Sens.
Senator Diane Feinstein, the top Judiciary Committee Democrat, issued a statement calling for a delay. According to the Post, Ford passed the test. "I thought he might inadvertently kill me", said Ford, "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing". "I hope the attacks and shaming of her will stop and this will be treated with the seriousness it deserves".
"This is not a politically motivated action", Katz added.
At the time, Ford said, she knew Kavanaugh and Judge as "friendly acquaintances" in the private-school social circles of suburban Maryland.
Reports of the letter have circulated for the past week, but it has not been public until now. Democrats need to flip at least two Republicans to block Kavanaugh.
Unfortunately, this will probably be the same result for Kavanaugh. Republican Senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska haven't said whether they'll vote to confirm Kavanaugh, nor have a handful of Democrats from states that backed Trump in 2016. Key will be the views of Collins and Sen.
A spokesman for Grassley told CNN that the chairman and Feinstein routinely hold bipartisan staff calls with nominees when updates are made to their background files.
The White House has accused Feinstein of mounting an "11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation". "I did not do this back in high school or at any time", he said in a statement.