You are here
Trump's top court nominee agrees to talk to Senate Judiciary Committee about sex accusations
[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, said he is willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee about accusations from a woman who said he sexually assaulted her while they were teenagers in high school.
Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is also willing to testify before Congress, Ford’s lawyer said Monday.
Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and in a statement Monday said, “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
Mr Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said that she had spoken with the president and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and that the woman “will be heard.”
Calls for delaying the Senate’s vote on Kavanaugh, planned for Thursday, grew Monday. Republicans had hoped to confirm Judge Kavanaugh before the midterm elections in November, when their control of the Senate could slip away.
Ms Conway, speaking Monday on “Fox & Friends,” said the Senate Judiciary Committee would decide when and how Ms Ford’s testimony would be heard.
“So, let me make very clear,” Ms Conway said. “I have spoken with the president. I have spoken with Sen Graham and others. This woman will be heard.” Ms Conway referred to Sen Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Judiciary committee, which is considering Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week.
All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday called on the panel's Republican chairman to postpone Thursday's planned vote so that the committee can hear Ms Ford - a move Republicans have said is a stalling tactic.
Ms Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, said Monday that her client was willing to testify before Congress.
There was no indication early Monday that the Judiciary Committee had requested such testimony or that the panel planned to delay the vote.
A key Republican on the committee, however, Sen Jeff Flake of Arizona, told Politico that he was “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination until he learned more about Ms Ford’s account. Mr Flake’s objection could force a delay for the committee, which has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
Ms Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University in Northern California, told the The Washington Post that a drunken, teenage Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, groped her and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming.
Ms Katz told NBC on Monday that Ms Ford believes what she said Mr Kavanaugh did to her was attempted rape.