Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley cancelled a vote on Kavanaugh planned for Thursday and said the nominee and his accuser, California university professor Christine Blasey Ford, would both appear next Monday to testify under oath about the alleged incident.
It's not clear how much Lisa Murkowski has talked to her brother, who stays out of the public eye.
That initial report, in the Intercept, caught committee Democrats by surprise, who had been kept in the dark about the letter Feinstein received July 30, according to several Democratic sources. "These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid". She is facing significant pressure to vote against Kavanaugh from activists on women's rights, health care and Alaska Natives.
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. She says she tried to scream, but that Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth to silence her. She said she got away when a companion of Kavanaugh's jumped on him.
On the House side, which does not take part in the confirmation of Supreme Court nominees, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "failure to postpone this vote without due process and a thorough investigation into these serious and credible allegations would be a dereliction of Congress' duty to demand zero tolerance of sexual harassment and abuse". Unless other witnesses come forward, it is hard to see how this does not end up a "he-said-she-said" fight. Her attorney said Ford is "not motivated at all by politics".
Brett Kavanaugh's suddenly endangered Supreme Court nomination creates risks for Republicans seeking to take control of the high court and opportunities for Democrats to retaliate for being denied the same thing 2½ years ago. Some of the biggest dips and hits to the president's and party's popularity have come from white, educated women, who seem to be turning their backs on Republicans.
Response on social media was swift and polarized - with some alleging political motivations for the accusation and others advocating for a delay of Kavanaugh's hearing to allow the judiciary committee additional time for deliberation while the allegations are investigated.
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Thomas won confirmation by a vote of 52 to 48, with 11 Democrats supporting him in a Senate they controlled.
A source close to Trump, who spoke on condition of anonymity, predicted trouble ahead should the Kavanaugh issue not be resolved soon, adding that "with seven weeks to go until an election, this is not the discussion that the Republicans want to be having in the era of the "me too" movement".
Ford did not tell anyone about the incident at the time, but The Washington Post reviewed notes from a therapist she saw in 2012 detailing the incident. She said she had spoken with a number of US senators including Republican Lindsey Graham about the matter.
Both have indicated they are willing to testify about the allegations. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Judiciary Committee member who has clashed bitterly with Trump and is retiring from the Senate.
The claim has jeopardised Mr Kavanaugh's formerly all-but certain-nomination for a lifetime job on the Supreme Court. Yet, he understands why she didn't, given the senator's "cautious" nature and the fact that the writer wanted strict anonymity.
While Republicans are already pointing fingers of blame at Feinstein, the senior California senator could also face some real blowback from fellow Democrats for apparently sitting on this key letter from Ford. He always conducted himself honorably with me at all times when we were together.
Katz said her client "was not wanting to inject herself into this".
"Anita Hill was a very reluctant hero", Washington told The Hollywood Reporter", a woman who didn't want to come forward, and yet rose to the occasion when her story was leaked.