Kavanaugh's accuser made her move -- now Republicans have to choose

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 4

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 4

Kavanaugh flatly denied the accusation and was, according to the White House, ready to testify "tomorrow" in his defence.

Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk", she says - corralled her in a bedroom at a Maryland party in the early 1980s when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17.

Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.

One witness the Democrats want to hear from is Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted.

Fitzgerald and Kane are now speaking out as the bombshell allegations threaten to derail Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Sen. Mazie Hirono said her message to men in this country is to "just shut up and step up".

The problem with the editorial (or I should say, the main problem, because there are several - which I'll lay out later) is this: It makes the argument for less transparency, less disclosure, less light.

Murkowski told CNN Monday that she's open to a delay in the committee vote.

Hirono said she expects all of the "enlightened men in our country" to rise up and say, "We can not continue the victimization and the smearing of someone like Dr. Ford". While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the Committee and with law enforcement officials.

In the end, "I doubt very seriously any minds will be changed by this", says Ross Baker, a political scientist and expert on the Senate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home.

How Trump reacted to the news?

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump showered sympathy on Kavanaugh. This is not a man that deserves this, ' Trump told journalists. Invite the accuser to appear on Monday and make her case. He will state his case before representatives of the United States Senate. "You don't wait until the hearing is over and then, all of a sudden, bring it up", Trump said. Hence her silence on Democratic colleague and choice for DNC Chair, Rep. Keith Ellison, whose former girlfriend Karen Monahan claims he physically and emotionally abused her.

The looming showdown is reminiscent of Anita Hill's accusation in 1991 that Clarence Thomas - a Supreme Court nominee then serving on the same federal appeals court - sexually harassed her in the workplace when he was in his 30s.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump wrote: "The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President". Other Republicans are suggesting that Ford will have only this one opportunity to testify.

How the Republicans and Democrats reacted to the allegations?

The No. 2 Senate Republican leader, John Cornyn of Texas, noted that Ford has admitted she doesn't remember some details of what happened. He called the allegations a "drive-by attack" on the judge's character. How and why Ford went from wanting to preserve her anonymity to being willing to publicly talk about the incident isn't a process that should be chalked up simply to politics.

Just as a matter of clarity, Warren had disqualified the nominee even before she knew who it was.

Mike Braun, a former IN state legislator running against Donnelly, also criticised the timing and praised Kavanaugh. They also want more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what they said would turn into a "he-said-she-said" moment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the GOP will review the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh "by the book" with bipartisan interviews on the Judiciary Committee.

Democrats came out in support of Ford, saying the matter needs more time for investigation.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he had "a lot of questions" for Kavanaugh. We will delay the process until it's finished out. "A proper investigation must be completed, witnesses interviewed, evidence reviewed and all sides spoken to". A panel vote is scheduled for Thursday, just weeks before the congressional midterm elections. Democrats are now favoured to take the House while becoming increasingly confident of adding the two Senate seats that would give them control of that chamber.

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