Trump dismisses 'drunk' Kavanaugh accuser as initial Senate vote scheduled

Trump dismisses 'drunk' Kavanaugh accuser as initial Senate vote scheduled

Kavanaugh was referring to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the suburbs of Maryland when they both were in high school.

As the hours ticked down to a historic hearing Thursday featuring Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a confirmation vote for Friday, in case the panel is prepared to vote then.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens to opening statements during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Ramirez alleged in an article published by The New Yorker Sunday night that while she and Kavanaugh both attended Yale University in the early 1980s, he pulled down his trousers and exposed himself to her. He said Trump called him in the afternoon to show his support.

Ramirez's lawyer, John Clune, said in television interviews on NBC and CBS on Wednesday that she has not been invited to speak to senators.

Ford's legal team on Monday had objected to the possibility Republicans would use an outside lawyer to question her. But the Democrats - who have called for the FBI to reopen its background check investigation of Kavanaugh - made their objections to the process clear and subsequently refused to ask the judge questions, the person said.

The 53-year-old Kavanaugh, now a federal appeals court judge in Washington DC, flatly denies the accusations.

"The second accuser has nothing", Mr. Trump said.

Thursday's showdown before the Senate Judiciary Committee shaping up as a potential make or break moment in Kavanaugh's bid to join the nation's highest court.




White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday the White House was "open" to having a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, testify on Thursday. Fifty-nine percent of those polled overall believe that if Ford's allegation is true, Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. "They want us to send them all the information that we have for their consideration before they'll talk to us for whatever reasons", Clune said. "I have faith in God and I have faith in the fairness of the American people", he said. Ford is expected to detail her allegations that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a house party in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh and his Republican allies have framed the allegations as part of a "smear campaign" by Democrats who have opposed his nomination from the beginning. In the letter, Ford said she faced death threats and was relying on her lawyers and Grassley to "agree to conditions that will allow me to testify in a fair setting".

"I have never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford", Kavanaugh said.

"This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate", Bromwich said.

Republicans have been determined to keep Kavanaugh's confirmation process on track in the face of the allegations.

After the interview aired, the sense in the West Wing was relief that Kavanaugh was able to present an image to counter the allegations.

President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the high court.

His confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate had seemed all but assured until allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced almost two weeks ago.

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