Grassley sets deadline for Kavanaugh accuser to decide on testimony

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On Friday, President Donald Trump sought to cast doubt on Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when both were high school students in Maryland.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation and pledged to testify at Monday’s hearing.

The Republican-controlled Senate judiciary panel has struggled on how to proceed with Kavanaugh’s nomination. Democrats have demanded more time for scrutiny, and Republicans want to move ahead quickly with a confirmation vote in an increasingly volatile political climate ahead of congressional elections on Nov. 6.

Trump and the White House had been careful not to malign Ford after her allegations surfaced, but Trump dropped the restraint in his tweets on Friday.

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump said. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s Friday tweets contrasted with comments earlier in the week when he said Ford should be heard, even if it meant a delay in the confirmation process.

Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican and potentially a key vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, said at an event in Portland, Maine, that she was “appalled” by Trump’s tweet.

“We know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist,” Collins said, according to the Portland Press Herald. “So I thought that the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.”

If the hearing proceeds, Republicans will be forced to walk a careful line in questioning Ford’s account without alienating women voters ahead of the elections. Before the 2016 presidential election, more than a dozen women accused Trump of making unwanted advances.




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