Trump challenges Kavanaugh accuser over account of sex attack

"The imposition of aggressive and artificial deadlines regarding the date and conditions of any hearing has created tremendous and unwarranted anxiety and stress on Dr Ford", Katz wrote in an email to the committee.

"Dr. Ford accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week", the attorneys said. "She should decide so we can move on".

He also claimed Judge Kavanaugh was "under assault by radical left wing politicians who don't want to know the answers". I hope you understand. It's not my normal approach to [be] indecisive'.

Earlier today, Grassley said that the Senate Judiciary Committee would vote on Monday if no deal is reached by 10 p.m. on Friday.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegations. Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME, who hasn't declared support for Kavanaugh, called the remark "appalling". 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 the November 6 congressional elections.

"She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".

Earlier, Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement. She claimed that Ford had not received proper time to decide whether to attend the hearing.

Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation hangs in the balance.

Friday was the latest in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court seemed a sure bet until Ford emerged last weekend and provided details of the alleged assault. "It's a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday".

"We know that allegations of sexual assault are one of the most under-reported crimes that exist", Collins said.

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"I think it's to the benefit of Chuck Schumer and his crew to allow the Senate to vote", he added.

Republicans on the committee have offered to fly out to California or anywhere else that is convenient for Ford - eliminating the need for her to fly.

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del), called Trump's comments "unacceptable and beneath the Presidency of the United States".

Yet according to Trump, she would have gone to the authorities immediately had the story been true - despite what experts say is the common reaction of women in sexual assault incidents to keep quiet for years out of fear or shame.

Ms Ford's attorney, Debra Katz, said Ms Ford couldn't appear on Monday as Mr Grassley had planned and proposed testifying on Thursday instead, according to a Senate aide familiar with the negotiations.

"We reserve the option to have female staff attorneys, who are sensitive to the particulars of Dr. Ford's allegations and are experienced investigators, question both witnesses", the letter said.

Vice President Pence speaks out in support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Values Voter Summit.

Interested in Supreme Court?

It was only because he was drunk that he did not rape her, her lawyer said. Kavanaugh's confirmation to the lifetime position would be the second of the Trump administration and solidify conservative control of the nation's top court.

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