Sen. Jeff Flake, another Republican on the committee, went further, saying he would not vote to approve Kavanaugh without first hearing from Ford. "She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill, but that's up to the Senate Judiciary Committee".
Collins said it would it be "disqualifying" if Kavanaugh had lied about the allegations, but said she did not have information to asses the veracity of Ford's allegations. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Monday. She said Sen. Lindsey Graham had told her it could happen as soon as Tuesday and the White House will "respect the process". "She will agree to participate in any proceedings that she's asked to participate in". Now, with 23 women in the Senate - including four on the judiciary committee - and the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, Kavanaugh's future as a Supreme Court justice is in uncharted territory.
In an article published Sunday, Ford told The Washington Post that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk", Ford alleges - corralled her in a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Trump did not comment directly on Ford's claim that a drunken Kavanaugh and one of his friends trapped her in a room and attempted to pull her clothes off at a high school party in 1982.
Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and escaped when Judge jumped on them.
"We can not brush aside these extraordinarily serious allegations in an unseemly rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat", Leahy said in a separate statement issued later Monday morning.
Kavanaugh, 53, "categorically and unequivocally" denied the allegations last week, and he issued a new statement Monday through the White House.
He continued, "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday".
President Trump defended his nominee, noting that Kavanaugh had been vetted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on half a dozen occasions. "Never had even a little blemish on his record", Trump said. She originally made the accusations in a private letter to Sen.
The president seems to be OK with "a little delay", and suggested to reporters Monday that he agrees with some congressional Republicans that there should be a "process". "It shouldn't certainly be very much", Trump said.
"I'd like everybody to be very happy", he added. "For me, we can't vote until we hear more".
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While the president stood behind his nominee, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also took pains to display concern for Kavanaugh's accuser. On it, Trump's voice can be heard boasting of grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them without permission.
Ford received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, master's degrees from Stanford University and Pepperdine University, and her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Some Democrats raised questions about whether Grassley's planned hearings were sufficient. Susan Collins, R-Maine, tweeted Monday that Kavanaugh and Ford "should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee".
On Monday (Tuesday NZT), a raft of key senators called for both Kavanaugh and his accuser to testify about the matter in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee before any vote on his appointment is held.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", Ford said in the story.
"She should be heard", Conway said, adding that the process "should not unduly delay the vote on Judge Kavanaugh". "His nomination should be put on hold until those hearing are complete".
"I agree with Sen".
On Sunday afternoon, Sanders and Welch released written statements calling for the panel to delay its vote.
Republican Bob Corker also said delaying the vote "would be best for all involved".
"If there is real substance to this, it demands a response", Murkowski said. Critics have accused the GOP of fast-tracking the process to get Kavanaugh on the court by October 1, the first day of the fall term. Flake said he told No. 2 Senate Republican leader John Cornyn of Texas on Sunday that "if we didn't give her a chance to be heard, then I would vote no". "She was quite reluctant to come forward". "Americans deserve a public hearing in which Dr. Ford is able to testify to her experience".