Kellyanne Conway downplays Kavanaugh allegations: He wasn't 'powerful' at the time

Female counsel hired to question Kavanaugh accuser

Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court pick

Kavanaugh has denied the claims against him and in a Fox News interview Monday, said that he was a virgin in high school and for "many years thereafter" as a defense against the accusations.

Of the social event at which Ford alleges his attack on her took place, Kavanaugh said: "I was never at any such party".

Mr Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump, and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will give evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

"I've never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever". Describing a party at Yale University, where she and Kavanaugh were enrolled at the time, Ramirez claims Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face before she was able to push him away.

In a defiant letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he would "not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process". I know my lifelong record, and I'm not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process.

"All I'm asking for is a fair process, where I can be heard", Kavanaugh said.

With one notable exception late last week, Trump has heeded instructions from his advisers and Republican senators to hold his fire, lest he provoke a calamitous backlash. "They have also refused to invite other witnesses who are essential for a fair hearing that arrives at the truth about the sexual assault". Ford said Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed and unsuccessfully sought to remove her clothes.

The potentially explosive hearing, against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault, comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.

On Sunday, the New Yorker magazine reported an allegation by a second woman.

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".

The New Yorker said Ramirez had hesitated to speak publicly, partly because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged episode and there were "gaps" in her memory.

Speaking to thousands of supporters at a rally in Missouri on Friday, Trump recounted how he had implored an unnamed senator to "fight for" Kavanaugh, and "not worry about the other side".

Kavanaugh denied the new allegations, calling them "smears, pure and simple".

"This fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future", McConnell said on the Senate floor.

But she added that by appearing on Fox News, a favorite of conservatives, Kavanaugh "is making his appeal on what many perceive as a highly partisan platform". And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion.

Hatch and Lindsey Graham of SC, both senior GOP Judiciary panel members, said in separate statements Monday that the hearing with Ford should go ahead Thursday as planned, and then the committee should vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Even though three women have accused SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh of serious sexual misconduct, he used his wife Ashley to vouch that he's a good guy who would never do what has been alleged.

Kavanaugh, who would serve a life term as a Supreme Court justice, has been the subject of accusations from two women of sexual misconduct dating from his high school and college years.

Democrats are likely to question Kavanaugh about his drinking habits and social conduct - open-ended questions that people close to him say he plans to avoid answering, but that will be hard to deflect. There are also questions as to how wide the reports of the potential new allegation were spread among Senate Democrats.

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