Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Blunt wants to investigate Kavanaugh allegations

Washington Post: Kavanaugh accuser comes forward Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify, her attorney says; judge...
Ellis Copeland | 18 September, 2018, 03:14

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Prof Ford's testimony should be heard. In the letter, Ford said she had received medical treatment after the assault, adding that "it is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizens about the idea of not saying anything".

"The standard procedure for updates to any nominee's background investigation file is to conduct separate follow-up calls with relevant parties".

In a statement on Monday, Kavanaugh called the allegation by Ford, who is a college professor, "completely false".

Ford initially contacted both Feinstein and The Washington Post in July, but at the time, she was not willing to make her allegation publicly. Ford has expressed a willingness to speak before the committee, as has Kavanaugh.

Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee struggled to reach agreement on how best to proceed, however, despite the fact that both Kavanaugh and Ford offered to testify on the matter.

Claire McCaskill, a Democrat senator from a Republican-leaning state of Missouri, said: "I am deeply troubled by these allegations".

If the allegations were true, however, it would also mean that Kavanaugh has been lying for days about what actually happened during the night when he allegedly tried to rape Ford.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court this Thursday. Democrats like Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) explicitly took this as support for his call to delay the vote.

Republicans say the allegations have already cast a shadow over Mr Kavanaugh but that it does not appear to be enough to change the votes in the narrowly divided 51 - 49 Senate.

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Donald Trump Jr posted an image on Instagram on Monday with the caption "Judge Kavanaugh sexual assault letter found by Dems". She did not announce what the accusations against him are or who is making them.

According to NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell, Hatch on Monday said that he had spoken with Kavanaugh and had found him to "honest" and "straightforward" in his denials about Ford's accusations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has completed its hearings on Kavanaugh and plans to vote on Thursday on his nomination.

Unfortunately, committee Republicans have only known this person's identity from news reports for less than 24 hours and known about her allegations for less than a week. And, like in 1991, Ford will face a Senate Judiciary Committee in which every GOP member is male. But the president says Kavanaugh's nomination is "on track".

"As former staffers who were there at the time, we find this testimony preposterous", they wrote, describing how judicial nominations "were full-fledged and often bitter on both sides", so Democratic staff members would hardly be cooperative.

"She's willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth", Katz told the Today show. But the allegations of sexual misconduct, particularly coming amid the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, coupled with Ford's emergence could complicate matters, especially as key Republican senators, including Collins and Murkowski, are under enormous pressure from outside groups who want them to oppose Kavanaugh on grounds that as a justice he could vote to undercut the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion in the U.S.

"Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation", Ford told the Post. "And Brett Kavanaugh got on top of her on the bed, pushed her down on the bed on her back, began groping at her, trying to take off her clothes".

The Senate has scheduled a public hearing on a sex assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for next week.

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