Kavanaugh accuser set to testify in US Senate hearing

A composite image of Dianne Feinstein and Brett Kavanaugh

Modal Trigger Dianne Feinstein and Brett Kavanaugh Getty Images

The depths to which Kavanaugh's defenders are willing to sink was underscored when Ed Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, sent out a tweet thread pushing a mistaken-identity alibi to explain away Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh.

White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec told Fox News: "This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats created to tear down a good man".

Ford and Kavanaugh are expected to testify before a Senate panel on Thursday about what she says was a sexual assault by him at a party when they were teenagers.

Christine Blasey Ford's attorney, Debra Katz (shown above left; Ford is at far right), just handed her what looks like an insurmountable credibility problem.

Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who last week came forward as the woman alleging Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, has agreed to testify about the allegation at a Senate committee hearing on Thursday. This story centers on Deborah Ramirez, who has come forward (or was pushed to come forward) with a claim that while she and Kavanaugh were both students at Yale, they were both at a drunken dorm party where Kavanaugh allegedly exposed himself to her.

Judge Kavanaugh has already released a statement denying the allegation.

The latest denial, issued on September 22 by the lawyer for Leland Keyser-one of the four witnesses named by accuser Christine Ford-comes days before Ford is expected to offer her account to the Senate Judiciary Committee at a September 27 hearing.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks as President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 4, 2018. Meanwhile, one other classmate told The New Yorker that while they were not a witness to the alleged encounter, they heard about it.

Ramirez has called on the FBI to investigate her claims, as have Democratic Senate lawmakers - who first learned about the accusations last week, along with Senior Republican staffers.

Republican committee staff told Ford's attorneys that they would be unwilling to accept what they characterized as a "demand" that only senators be permitted to ask questions of the witnesses.

Among those who have been contacted: a friend of Ford, who USA TODAY isn't naming to protect her privacy because she is seemingly not connected to the confirmation process. She attended Yale with Justice Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology, the magazine said. They also compared the current controversy to the sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in 1991.

Ford's lawyers also asked the committee to subpoena other witnesses.

As the Twitter wars were playing out, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, assured an audience of conservative Christians on Friday that Kavanaugh's confirmation would go through.

The committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ms Ford.

"As with any witness who comes before the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee can not hand over its constitutional duties to attorneys for outside witnesses", Mike Davis, Grassley's top nominations counsel, wrote in an email exchange with Ford's lawyers obtained by The Associated Press. "I hope she comes".

Among the issues still being ironed out are how long senators will have to ask questions, the person said.

"Unless there's something more, no, I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this", Sen. Countless people from every phase of Brett Kavanaugh's life have testified that he is a good man of the highest character and integrity.

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