Fiery Kavanaugh denies quiet accuser Ford in Senate showdown

Fiery Kavanaugh denies quiet accuser Ford in Senate showdown

As the committee takes up the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court on Friday, Flake is the only undecided vote.

Ms Feinstein criticised Republicans who have rejected Democratic demands to slow Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation process and let the FBI investigate all the allegations, saying: "What I don't understand is the rush to judgment".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC also mentioned the ABA's assessment during an impassioned defense of Kavanaugh on Thursday.

Trump had a more formal reaction after the hearing, tweeting that Kavanaugh delivered a "powerful, honest, and riveting" performance, and demanding Senate confirmation.

Republicans are reluctant for several reasons, including the likelihood that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more hard.

In a passionate-at times belligerent-defense, the 53-year-old conservative judge insisted before the Senate Judiciary Committee that it never happened, accusing Democrats of destroying his reputation and condemning his confirmation battle as a "national disgrace" and a "circus".

The judiciary panel's 11 Republicans - all men - let Rachel Mitchell, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona, ask their questions.

Kavanaugh issued his own statement through the White House saying he's been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation before, done "background" calls with the Senate and answered questions under oath "about every topic" senators have asked. It also means that any cases the Supreme Court hears before a ninth justice is in place will be decided by just eight, raising the possibility of tie votes. One day earlier, he had blistered the Senate process as "a total sham", accused Democrats of a conspiracy of obstruction and declared on Twitter, "The Senate must vote!" "Ms. Keyser said under penalty of felony she does not know me, does not ever recall being at a party with me ever". Dianne Feinstein of California, asked how she could be sure that Kavanaugh was the attacker, Ford said, "The same way I'm sure I'm talking to you right now".

"I am here today not because I want to be", said the married mother-of-two.

Senate Judiciary Committee refers ‘false statements’ against Brett Kavanaugh to Federal Bureau of Investigation
On Friday, President Donald Trump directed the FBI to re-open its background investigation of his nominee after Republican Sen. He was viewed as a possible "no" vote on the panel and in the closely-divided Senate - until his morning announcement Friday.

The topic, alongside Collins's pending decision on Kavanaugh, dominated Maine Public Radio's daily talk show, Maine Calling, on Friday, during which several callers voiced their confidence, or lack thereof, in the senator.

Republicans are concerned, among other reasons, that further investigations could push a vote past the November elections that may switch Senate control back to the Democrats and make consideration of any Trump nominee more hard.

Kavanaugh, who has two daughters, said one of his girls said they should "pray for the woman" making the allegations against him, referring to Ford.

The Judiciary panel's day-long hearing, an extraordinary Senate airing of long-ago and painfully personal memories, came as GOP support for Mr Kavanaugh's ascension to Supreme Court lay in the balance. Both of them were in high school in suburban Maryland at that time. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.

Asserting that she felt it was her "civic duty" to share her story, Ford said at the age of 15 she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1982 at a party. Though Ford is the only accuser testifying, three women have made allegations against Kavanaugh.

Flake then returned and announced he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate with the understanding that his request would be honored.

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process", Kavanaugh said.

During the afternoon session with Kavanaugh, Mitchell was shunted aside, and the gloves came off.

The boys' laughter was "indelible in the hippocampus", she said.

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