President Donald Trump suggested Friday that the woman who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of a teenage sexual assault should have filed a police report 36 years ago - and challenged her to produce one to prove her case.
He said Kavanaugh's accuser should "have her say and let's see how it all works out, but I don't think you can delay it any longer".
Christine Blasey Ford may testify against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after all, her attorney said Thursday, breathing new life into the prospect of a dramatic Senate showdown next week over Ford's accusation that he assaulted her when both were in high school.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her in the early 1980s during a party while they were in high school. That response has contributed to him continuing to say Ford should come forward with her story.
Collins, who is pro-choice, is seen as a key vote for Kavanaugh to be confirmed. "Can we actually find anybody who can corroborate what Dr. Ford has said?" But here's what I want to tell you: "In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court", the Republican leader from Kentucky said in a speech at the Values Voter Summit Friday in the nation's capital.
However, Prof Ford has set out conditions for her appearance which have yet to be agreed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The women declined Friday to answer questions about Ford, saying they were there to talk about Kavanaugh and how "we know the man, we know his heart". But that served to galvanize GOP lawmakers around Kavanaugh, who vehemently denies Ford's allegations, all but ensuring his likely confirmation. "He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh", said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley.
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If not, we're not going to take a risk because he missed a lot of games and we have a lot of games to play. Don't worry for me - we need to be anxious for the real things.
In a recent interview, Ford claimed that Mark Judge, a close friend of Kavanaugh's, was an eye witness to the sexual assault. Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona - said that unless Ford testified Monday they would move on to Kavanagh's vote. "Why didn't someone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago?"
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) told the Democrat & Chronicle on Monday she hoped there would be "some measure of review, maybe a hearing" on Ford's accusation, but by Wednesday, she told CNN Ford should not participate in a "sham hearing".
Responding on Twitter to Democratic criticism, the Republican-led Judiciary Committee defended Grassley's approach and described how its staff members have contacted four people alleged to have been present at the house where the alleged incident occurred. At each step, committee Democrats have publicly echoed Ford's call for a delayed hearing.
By refusing to call Mark Judge as a witness, and refusing to direct the FBI to investigate, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the president are in lockstep.
The Republicans have manufactured a "he said / she said" standoff and are using their own handiwork to make good on a promise to stack the Supreme Court with conservative judges.
Late Thursday, the White House released a letter from Kavanaugh to Grassley in which he said he wants to tell his side in a Monday hearing.
During the 2016 campaign, at least 15 women accused Trump of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women.