Official Washington scrambles over Kavanaugh allegations

Cruz says Democrats 'playing games' but agrees that Kavanaugh's accuser should testify before confirmation vote

Cruz says Democrats 'playing games' but agrees that Kavanaugh's accuser should testify before confirmation vote

Ford, a university professor, alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a party while the two were in high school in the 1980s, a charge the federal judge has furiously denied. While the President announced on Monday that he still stands behind Kavanaugh, Ford got a vote of support from someone who plays a former USA president on TV.

Still, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of Ford: "She should not be insulted".

One of Kavanaugh's friends was in the room and Kavanaugh covered her mouth to stop her from screaming, she said.

Earlier Monday, Biden said through a spokesperson that he believed Kavanaugh's nomination should be postponed until Christine Blasey Ford, the clinical psychology professor who's accused the judge of physical and sexual assault, has an opportunity to tell her story.

"Her recollection of these events is crystal clear", Ford's attorney Lisa Banks told Morning Edition.

Christine Blasey Ford went to high school at Holton-Arms School, an all-girls school located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Republicans control the Senate by only a narrow margin, meaning any defections could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump, who has been engaged in a so-far successful effort since becoming president previous year to move the Supreme Court and broader federal judiciary to the right.

"Anybody who comes forward at this point to be prepared to testify in the United States Senate against someone who's being nominated to one of the most powerful positions in the United States government, that takes an extraordinary amount of courage", said Harris. The party split goes like this: 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats.

There are more than two Republican senators who are not committing to voting yes.

The South Carolina senator says if the panel is going to hear from Ford, "it should be done immediately" so the confirmation process can continue as scheduled. But now we know her name, know more details of what she would say, and know that she is willing to come forward and tell her story. Contacted Sunday by CNN, Sen.

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. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wouldn't say if the vote should be postponed.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to tip the scale in favour of conservatives, potentially further threatening women's access to abortion, restrictions on presidential powers and efforts to curb gun ownership.

The Judiciary Committee is split between majority Republicans and Democrats 11-10.

Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, led a number of Democrats calling for a delay in the vote.

Trump stayed publicly silent on the subject over the weekend.

Trump is praising Kavanaugh as one of the finest people he's known. She should not be ignored. "She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill".

Six weeks before Election Day might seem like enough time to vet and process these allegations - to give them respect, but then maybe move on - but if this gets even uglier, it is hard to imagine those Republican candidates in tough campaign fights will want to stick around in Washington until November. Conway said that was up to the Judiciary Committee. "This woman will be heard". In defense, Kavanaugh and Judge have offered only a blanket denial. The restraint was clearly created to appeal to Collins and Murkowski - or at least, to avoid angering them. "I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity", Kavanaugh said.

Democrats, however, rejected the private interviews and wanted the FBI to investigate the allegations as part of the judge's background investigation.

It's early for any polling on whether the weekend's developments have changed anything for Republicans or for Trump.

President Trump on Monday (Tuesday NZT) told reporters that "if it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay" to vet the allegations against Kavanaugh, who is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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