Evan Vucci | AP
John Wagner, Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Publish •
September 17, 2018 four:28 pm
Up to date: September 17, 2018 5:54 pm
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday defended Supreme Courtroom nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a lady accused him of sexually assaulting her when the 2 have been in highschool, praising him as “one of the finest people” and signaling that he helps a proposed listening to on the allegations.
“We want to go through a full process … and hear everybody out,” Trump advised reporters at an occasion on workforce improvement.
He referred to as Kavanaugh “somebody very special,” who “never even had a little blemish on his record.” And he criticized Democrats, who he stated ought to have “done this a lot sooner because they had this information for many months.”
“If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay,” Trump stated of the affirmation course of. “It will, I’m sure, work out very well.”
Trump’s feedback marked his first public response after The Washington Publish reported Sunday on Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation towards Kavanaugh.
An lawyer for Ford stated Monday that Ford is prepared to testify concerning the allegations earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The supply prompted a rising variety of calls from senators — together with moderates in each events whose votes are key to Kavanaugh’s destiny — to carry one other listening to at which each Ford and Kavanaugh might testify publicly.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, stated in a press release early Monday afternoon that Ford “deserves to be heard” however stopped in need of committing to a public airing that might probably pressure a delay of a deliberate committee vote on Thursday.
Debra Katz, a lawyer for Ford, shared her shopper’s willingness to testify throughout a spherical of tv interviews on Monday morning.
“She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth,” Katz stated on NBC’s “Today” present when requested whether or not her shopper would converse publicly about Trump’s Supreme Courtroom nominee.
Kavanaugh later issued a recent denial of the allegations, which have roiled his affirmation course of, saying he’s prepared to speak to the committee in any method it “deems appropriate.”
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” he stated in a press release. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
In his assertion, Grassley stated he was engaged on “a way to hear [Ford] out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.” He stated “standard procedure” requires beginning with follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford however that the workplace of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the highest Democrat on the committee, shouldn’t be cooperating.
Democrats are insisting that the FBI deal with the matter by reopening Kavanaugh’s background investigation quite having committee employees make calls.
Underscoring the uncertainty Kavanaugh faces, three senators thought-about swing votes on the nomination issued statements Monday calling for a radical evaluation of the allegations by Ford, a professor in California.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, tweeted that “Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.”
Three red-state Democrats, Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, additionally referred to as for slowing the method.
“Given the nature of these allegations, and the number of outstanding questions, I believe the Judiciary Committee should hold off on Thursday’s scheduled vote,” Donnelly stated.
Heitkamp stated it “takes courage for any woman to speak up about sexual assault, and we need to respect Prof. Ford by listening to her and hearing her story.”
Manchin, in the meantime, stated Ford “deserves to be heard,” and Kavanaugh “deserves a chance to clear his name” throughout a listening to.
“I hope they will be given the opportunity to do that as quickly as possible,” Manchin stated.
The White Home indicated Monday that it’s persevering with to face by Kavanaugh however that it expects Ford will supply testimony to the Judiciary Committee.
“This woman should not be insulted, and she should not be ignored,” White Home counselor Kellyanne Conway stated throughout an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.”
Conway referred to as Kavanaugh “a man of character and integrity” however stated that, based mostly on conversations with Trump and senators, she expects Ford to inform her story to the committee, both by telephone or in individual.
“She should be heard,” Conway stated, including that the method “should not unduly delay the vote on Judge Kavanaugh.”
Conway later tweeted that Kavanaugh is “willing to add to his dozens of hours of sworn testimony.”
Kavanaugh was on the White Home on Monday morning, however based on a senior official, he didn’t meet with Trump. The official stated Kavanaugh has been coming to the White Home “often” for conferences through the affirmation course of.
Throughout a 10-minute telephone name with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, early Monday afternoon, Kavanaugh continued to disclaim Ford’s allegations, in line with an official acquainted with the decision. The official requested anonymity to touch upon a matter the official was not approved to debate publicly.
Many GOP activists stood firmly by Kavanaugh amid the firestorm and ready for a drawn-out battle over his nomination.
The Judicial Disaster Community, a conservative group that has been a serious proponent of Republican nominees to the excessive courtroom, stated on Monday that it might launch a $1.5 million promoting blitz to help him, that includes a longtime pal of the federal decide who would converse to his character.
“We are not going to allow a last-minute smear campaign destroy a good and decent man who has an unblemished personal record,” an adviser to the Judicial Disaster Community stated in a press release.
Throughout an look on ABC’s “The View,” Senate Minority Chief Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., stated he finds Ford “extremely credible” and believes different senators will, too, if she testifies. He stated that ought to occur after a radical FBI investigation.
“Trying to rush this through on Thursday is an insult to the women of America and an insult to the majesty of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Schumer stated.
In an article revealed Sunday, Ford informed The Washington Publish that one summer time within the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a good friend – each “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges – corralled her in a bed room throughout a gathering of youngsters at a home in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Whereas his good friend watched, she stated, Kavanaugh pinned her to a mattress on her again and groped her over her garments, grinding his physique towards hers and clumsily trying to tug off her one-piece bathing go well with and the clothes she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she stated, he put his hand over her mouth.
Through the NBC interview, Katz characterised Kavanaugh’s actions as “attempted rape,” including that her shopper feels “that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped.”
Ford is “not taking a position” on whether or not Kavanaugh ought to withdraw his nomination, Katz stated. “She believes that these allegations obviously bear on his character and his fitness, and the denials of course bear on his character and fitness.”
On Monday morning, Democrats stepped up requires a delay within the committee vote.
Throughout a tv interview, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Sick., stated Ford must be heard however argued that it might be “too fast” for her to seem on Capitol Hill this week.
“I don’t know if that’s fair,” Durbin, a Judiciary Committee member, stated on CNN. “I really don’t.”
In a letter despatched later, all 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee urged Grassley to postpone Thursday’s scheduled vote.
“All Senators, regardless of party, should insist the FBI perform its due diligence and fully investigate the allegations as part of its review of Judge Kavanaugh’s background,” the senators stated. “Once the FBI has completed its independent work, we hope that we can work together in a bipartisan manner to decide on next steps.”
Sens. Jeff Flake, Ariz., and Bob Corker, Tenn., Republicans who’re retiring on the finish of this time period, have joined Democrats in urging a delay within the vote till the committee hears from Ford.
After her Fox News look on Monday, Conway informed reporters on the White Home that Kavanaugh has been vetted by the FBI on six events. That course of is “very thorough, I can assure you,” she stated.
Amid the uproar, Republicans continued to precise anger Monday that Ford’s allegations didn’t floor till after Kavanaugh’s affirmation hearings.
Feinstein acquired a letter from Ford in July by which Ford requested to stay nameless. Ford has stated she determined to return ahead solely when her identify started leaking out.
In a press release, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, stated that the Judiciary Committee ought to deal with the allegation via its regular course of, which begins with follow-up calls.
“That Democrats have so egregiously mishandled this up until now is no excuse for us to do the same,” stated Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican within the chamber. “If Democrats reject the committee handling this swiftly and in a bipartisan way through regular order, then it’s clear that their only intention is to smear Judge Kavanaugh and derail his nomination.”
Washington Publish writers Robert Costa, Sean Sullivan and Gabriel Pogrung contributed to this report.
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