As Senate weighs Kavanaugh, Thomas example offers cautions

"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", she told the paper. This development is yet another reason not to rush Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said in a statement Monday night that she was disappointed the Federal Bureau of Investigation and White House "are failing to take even the most basic steps to investigate this matter" and that the process was being rushed.

Ms. Feinstein's office said staff were in contact through August and made clear that Ms. Ford could come forward if she chose.

"We can not brush aside these extraordinarily serious allegations in an unseemly rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat", Leahy said in a separate statement issued later Monday morning. It's just so polar opposite of the Brett Kavanaugh I've known for over 35 years.

"She should not be ignored or insulted. She should testify under oath, and she should do it on Capitol Hill".

Bloomberg News' Laura Litvan reports that Hatch was then asked how he would feel about Kavanaugh's nomination if it turned out that the allegations were true, and Hatch replied that "if that were true, I think it would be hard for senators not to consider who he is today".

While there was no touching involved, Hill said Thomas had eight years earlier first tried to date her, and when she declined, he subjected her, over a long period of time, to sexually explicit and sometimes weird sexual comments.

Trump did not comment directly on Ford's claim that a drunken Kavanaugh and one of his friends trapped her in a room and attempted to pull her clothes off at a high school party in 1982.

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At the time, she was 15 and a student at Holton-Arms, an all-girls private school in Bethesda, Maryland, and Kavanaugh was 17.

While some Republican senators, such as Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Flake, are concerned with process, one source said that doesn't necessarily mean a long delay - and the concern is that a long delay is what Democrats are pushing for. And in an unusually personal swipe, Schumer said McConnell was showing "unmitigated gall" to oppose delaying Kavanaugh's nomination after refusing for most of 2016 to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the court after Antonin Scalia died. And unless there is incontrovertible evidence of this allegation against Kavanaugh, we do not see why the allegation should impede a presumed party-line vote in favor of his confirmation. "Instead, she waited until after the confirmation hearing as the committee is now preparing to vote, in what can only be described as a desperate, last-ditch effort to derail the nomination with an uncorroborated rumor".

Mr Grassley had earlier stopped short of calling for a public hearing, or for delaying the committee's vote on Mr Kavanaugh which was originally planned for Thursday of this week.

Joe Biden, the most senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee at the time, later apologised for not doing enough to investigate Hill's allegations during the hearings.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a committee member, told The Washington Post and Politico in interviews Sunday that he's "not comfortable" voting for Kavanaugh until he learns more about the allegation.

On Sunday, Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University in Northern California, went public with allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her while at a high school party. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing".

In the interview, Ford said she never revealed what had happened to her until 2012, when she and her husband, Russell Ford, sought couples therapy. The most prominent name is that of Amy Coney Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor named to a federal appeals court judgeship a year ago and a finalist for the high court nomination in July.

Grassley could invite Ford to testify, likely in closed session before Thursday. Early Monday afternoon, the Maine Republican tweeted, "Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee". Key will be the views of Collins and Sen.

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