The White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said Monday that the woman who accused the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault "should not be insulted and she should not be ignored".
"You and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen USA senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident", Ford's legal team wrote to Grassley. The letter's contents leaked last week and Ford identified herself in an interview with the Washington Post published on Sunday.
The fast-developing story has set Kavanaugh's nomination on an uncertain course, just days ahead of a scheduled committee vote.
While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.
Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
Kavanaugh said in a statement Monday he is willing to speak with the committee "in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation".
"I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone", Kavanaugh said.
Chuck Grassley told reporters Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
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Now a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation's second most powerful court, Kavanaugh seemed to be on a smooth confirmation track until the new allegation emerged.
"I think she's mistaken", Hatch answered.
During the NBC interview, Katz characterized Kavanaugh's actions as "attempted rape", adding that her client feels "that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped".
The allegation against Kavanaugh first came to light late last week in the form of a letter that had been for some time in the possession of Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee and one of its four female members.
Grassley said in a statement that he will follow standard procedure for updating a nominee's background file, which involves follow-up calls with the parties involved, in this case, Kavanaugh and Ford. Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins became one of the key undecided senators to say she welcomed testimony from both Kavanaugh and Ford.
A spokesman for Grassley complained about the timing of Ford's public accusation, saying it "raises a lot of questions about Democrats' tactics and motives to bring this to the rest of the committee's attention only now rather than during the many steps along the way". "For me, we can't vote until we hear more".
Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk", she says - corralled her in a bedroom at a Maryland party in the early 1980s when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17. Grassley's office said the vote, which is scheduled for Thursday, will proceed as planned.
Sens. Jeff Flake, Ariz., and Bob Corker, Tenn., Republicans who are retiring at the end of this term, have joined Democrats in urging a delay in the vote until the committee hears from Ford. Notes of the session Ford gave the Post do not mention Kavanaugh by name.
HORSLEY: Yes. And I think Senator Flake's suggestion that the vote might be delayed is probably going to carry more weight than those 10 Democrats on the committee. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, for not taking the letter public or sharing it with her Democratic colleagues sooner than she did.