Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify in US Senate

Hawaii senator emerges as key, critical voice in vetting Kavanaugh

Gender politics at play as Senate grapples with nomination

A lawyer for a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sex assault decades ago says she'd be willing to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week if they can agree to terms "that are fair and which ensure her safety". But Dr. Blasey Ford's lawyers have said an FBI investigation into her claims should be conducted before the committee holds a hearing.

Lawyer Debra Katz writes that Ford's "strong preference" remains a full investigation before she testifies.

Grassley said Wednesday that he is still seeking to get Ford to testify Monday either in "any format she's comfortable [with]", but tweeted that "no other OUTSIDE investigation is necessary".

Now, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has responded, telling Ford's attorneys in a letter of his own that he is willing to make the hearing private, but not to delay it past September 24.

Kavanaugh has been prepping all week for the possibility of a public hearing and denies Ford's claim that he "groped" her and "put his hand over her mouth" at a high school party in the early 1980s.

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

This isn't the first time allegations have come up during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed confidence on Thursday that Kavanaugh will ultimately be confirmed.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her and trying to remove her clothing while he was drunk at a party in 1982 when he was 17 years old and she was 15. Republicans have said they will move forward with a vote on Kavanaugh if Ford does not testify. Democrats, who have been opposing Kavanaugh's confirmation from before Dr Ford's allegation surfaced, have demanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation step in; Republicans have been staunchly opposed.

"There are gaps in her memory", the Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said, referring to details Ford has said she can't remember.

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Eleven Republicans sit on the Senate Committee, opposite 10 Democrats.

Ford told The Washington Post that she had told no one about the incident until she attended therapy sessions with her husband in 2010, thirty years later.

"A hearing on Monday is not possible and the committee's insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event".

I mean, we have activists, the Democratic base, seizing this to try and derail Kavanaugh's confirmation - Republicans, President Trump seizing it to try to do the opposite, to get him confirmed. Ford and Democrats want the FBI to investigate her allegations Kavanaugh assaulted her three decades ago, but Republicans are refusing.

Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, sounded bullish about the prospects of confirming the nominee, who would be expected to bring a more conservative tilt to America's highest court.

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Carlson said he was told by a senior US official that the FBI will not investigate because what Ford is alleging is not a federal crime. And they've been saying since before the letter was released from Ford's attorneys that they wanted to hear from Ford, that they took her accusations seriously.

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