Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh: Sexual assault accuser 'needs more time'

Trump Defends Supreme Court Nominee as Accuser Faces Deadline Kavanaugh Accuser's Classmate: 'That It Happened Or Not, I Have No Idea'
Deanna Wagner | 22 September, 2018, 05:30

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.

Trump used a string of tweets to blame the entire row on "radical left wing politicians" seeking to "destroy and delay" Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"Facts don't matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C".

Mr Trump said in a tweet that "if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says", she would have pressed charges. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place", Trump tweeted.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had originally set a Friday deadline for Ford to submit testimony and had scheduled a hearing for Monday.

Grassley's committee wants prepared testimony from Ford by Friday and an answer on whether she will accept its invitation to testify to the panel on Monday, either publicly or privately. Other Republican senators, including Lindsay Graham, have fallen in line behind Grassley, saying that there is "no reason" to call Ford to testify because they already know what he will say - exactly what he said in his letter. These are the conditions she is asking for, according to the Senate aides.

During the 2016 campaign, at least 15 women accused Trump of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women.

Both have agreed to testify before a Senate committee.

Ford's legal team has said she strongly prefers that her allegations are fully investigated before she testifies. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusations.

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On Wednesday, Republicans, who have rebuffed Ford's request for Federal Bureau of Investigation intervention, urged Ford to accept their invitation to testify and signaled they'd forge ahead with Kavanaugh's confirmation. You've watched the fight, you've watched the tactics, but here's what I want to tell you: "In the very near future, judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court". He has offered to send staffers to California to interview Ford. All of the Republicans on the panel are men, and the committee is known to be concerned about the optics of having questions from the GOP side come only from men.

The other women who spoke at the event described Kavanaugh as a family man who coaches a girls' basketball team, tutors children, goes to neighborhood barbeques and attends church.

Evangelical leaders said if Kavanaugh failed to win confirmation, that could drive up turnout among Republican voters in November, when the party is defending its House majority and a narrow edge in the Senate.

Still Flake, who said previously that "We can't vote until we hear more", and was one of the first Republicans to call for the hearing's delay, is also among those imploring Ford to testify Monday.

Donald Trump ditched his earlier restraint Friday in the scandal threatening his Supreme Court nominee, instead going on the attack against the woman accusing the would-be justice of sexual assault when they were teens. Her lawyers said Thursday that she will agree to a hearing if they can find "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety", CNN reports.

Collins said critics have a right to make their case, but has in the past said her office has received threatening and profane messages about the Kavanaugh case, calling those messages inappropriate and offensive.

Trump's tweets came as lawyers for Ford continued negotiations with Republicans about conditions under which she might testify next week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Approval of Kavanaugh would cement conservative control of the Supreme Court and advance a White House effort to tilt the American judiciary farther right.

Ford and Senate Democrats had demanded the FBI first reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation to include her claims.