Republicans are forging ahead with plans for a Senate hearing they had hoped to avoid on a woman's claims that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when were high schoolers, hoping to salvage the judge's endangered Supreme Court nomination with a risky, nationally televised showdown between him and his accuser.
White House spokesperson Raj Shah says Kavanaugh "looks forward to a hearing" and "stands ready to testify".
Kavanaugh's confirmation, which once appeared all but certain, was cast in doubt after Christine Blasey Ford said in an interview published Sunday by The Washington Post that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers. I think the American people, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, are going to face the consequences of who goes on the Supreme Court. She has also said she is willing to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee.
Ford claims Kavanaugh was "stumbling drunk" at the time, but Hatch rejected the possibility that he was so intoxicated he can't remember the incident. "There might be 220 things she doesn't know and then a very specific sentence about what happened that was so traumatic".
Ford's husband told the Post that she used Kavanaugh's name in the therapy sessions and anxious he would be nominated to the Supreme Court. Then, she agreed to go public, she told The Post. "It's so slick it doesn't compute".
They said the sexual harassment accusation don't match up with his character.
Democrats are desperate to block Kavanaugh's appointment because they believe he could help overturn Roe vs Wade, the landmark ruling that protects legal access to abortion, as well as protections for racial minorities, unions and the environment.
Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY, called for a delay in the vote, and two committee Republicans - all 11 on the GOP side are men - Sens. And Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegation. He no longer had the certain votes to win confirmation, and he and Majority Leader George Mitchell of ME agreed to a postponement and a second hearing to begin three days later. Also, Ford communicated her version of events to her lawmaker prior to Trump naming Kavanaugh as his choice for Kennedy's seat - information that eventually made its way to US senator Diane Feinstein. Ford says four boys were at the party, but only two boys were in the room at the time.
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.
The Republican leader criticized Democrats for sitting on the information during weeks of debate on Kavanaugh's nomination.
"This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored", Conway told Fox News.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to tip the scale in favour of conservatives, potentially further threatening women's access to abortion, restrictions on presidential powers and efforts to curb gun ownership.
"I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone", he said in a statement.
She said she managed to escape when Kavanaugh's friend jumped on top of them on the bed and sent all three of them tumbling, according to the Post.
Stressing that Mr Kavanaugh had already testified and undergone Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said: "I think you have to weigh this testimonial evidence from Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh along with the considerable body of evidence that is already there about the judge's temperament and qualifications and character".
Ironically, one of the Democrats in a tough race this fall is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Sen.
Grassley could invite Ford to testify, likely in closed session before Thursday.
Kavanaugh's friend that was reportedly present during the alleged assault, Mark Judge, also made a comment in an interview Friday with The Weekly Standard, saying that no such incident occurred. Key will be the views of Collins and Sen.
It's not clear how much Lisa Murkowski has talked to her brother, who stays out of the public eye.