Gillibrand and Hirono criticize GOP's handling of Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Attorney for Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford: ‘Rush to a Hearing Is Unnecessary’

The woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers said Wednesday that the hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold Monday to examine her allegations would not be fair or adequate.

Prof Ford and the Senate Judiciary Committee are engaged in a stand-off, and time is running out, the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue reports from Washington.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Prof Ford says Brett Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to take off her clothes What are the other developments? It said the telephone discussion ended with no decision.

President Donald Trump's Republican Party has a challenge to maintain control of Congress in November's mid-term elections | AFP
President Donald Trump's Republican Party has a challenge to maintain control of Congress in November's mid-term elections | AFP

Grassley had said that in the interest of making Ford comfortable, he'd be willing to let Ford testify in public or private.

Mike Davis, the committee's chief staffer for nominations, tweeted twice overnight about his key role in the committee's review of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation, as well as criticism of Ford's attorneys and his desired outcome of the process.

Prof Ford earlier declined the Senate's offer to testify unless the FBI began investigating the judge.

Kavanaugh accuser to testify Thursday in Senate: lawyers
He said he stepped down "in order to not be a distraction" as Senate Republicans continue to try to get Kavanaugh confirmed. It was unclear whether Grassley would permit more negotiations Saturday, with patience among Republicans is running thin.

Grassley announced later that he would convene a hearing with both Ford and Kavanaugh, who has denied her allegations, on the coming Monday.

More than 50 protesters opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been arrested on Capitol Hill. Her lawyer told CNN she's now receiving death threats over the allegation. "She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".

In one obstacle that must be overcome, attorney Debra Katz's email said a hearing Monday is "not possible" and that scheduling it that day "is arbitrary in any event". Federal Bureau of Investigation involvement would require White House consent.

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President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have been emphatic that an FBI renewal of its background checks on Kavanaugh won't happen, saying an investigation by committee staff - which Democrats are boycotting - is sufficient. Panel chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said Monday would be her chance to testify. When the FBI investigated Hill's allegations against Thomas in 1991, it took only three days.

The judiciary committee wrote on Twitter that it is conducting its own investigation and said that Democrats are welcome to participate in the process "every step of the way".

Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME, who has had her share of clashes with Mr Trump, said she hoped Ms Ford would reconsider a decision not to testify and "it's not fair to Judge Kavanaugh" if she refuses. That echoed Democrats' effort to broaden the nomination fight into a referendum on whether women who allege abuse are taken seriously by men - a theme that could echo in this November's elections for control of Congress. In the poll, conducted from September 11-17, 36 percent of US adults surveyed did not want Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, up 6 percentage points from a similar poll a month earlier, while 31 percent favored Kavanaugh's appointment.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington. He said the bad ones are gone, "but there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that, too".

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