Can the Senate Judiciary Committee enlist the FBI to investigate the claims of sexual assault brought by an accuser against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to the Supreme Court?
They fear that without a shared set of facts, Republicans would simply move quickly after the testimony to confirm Kavanaugh.
Collins is an important player because she and a handful of other borderline senators could make the difference in the final vote on Kavanaugh in the Senate. Politico reported that Ford asked to have Kavanaugh testify first, and does not want him in the room when she testifies. "They will be pro-family", said McConnell. He said that Ford and her attorneys have until Friday to commit to appear at a hearing that could take place Monday about these allegations. The FBI has said it is not investigating, a decision backed by Republicans who have accused Democrats of trying to delay the confirmation process. "He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh", said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley.
Ford also wants her safety guaranteed and she wants the committee to subpoena additional witnesses, including Mark Judge, the man she says witnessed her attack. In earlier media interviews, Banks had said Ford would be willing to testify.
The president has commented on the Kavanaugh allegation throughout the week, praising his Supreme Court pick's integrity and intellect, while declining to attack Ford.
Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway says the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct should not be conflated with the assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his denial.
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Committee Republicans have planned for only Kavanaugh and Ford to testify, but Democrats want other witnesses, too.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh leaves his home Wednesday in Chevy Chase, Md. So, it's unclear why the White House is ride or die on Brett Kavanaugh.
"We are happy that Dr Ford's attorneys are now engaging with the Committee", his spokesperson told United States media.
The message and positive tone of the attorney's email breathed new life into the possibility that the panel would hold a dramatic hearing at which both Ford and Kavanaugh could give their versions of what happened at a party in the 1980s in a Maryland suburb of Washington.
Ford supporters protest outside the office of Senator Chuck Grassley on Thursday, saying he's treating her unfairly.
In addition to security, expected to be provided by Capitol Police, Ford has asked for press coverage of her testimony to be the same as for Kavanaugh.
What is perplexing about the spectacle that will continue into next week's hearings is that President Trump has a whole list of Federalist Society approved Supreme Court candidates who all see the world through their lens.
She said that the only "deal breaker" is that Christine Blasey Ford can not appear at a hearing Monday morning and would not be able to submit testimony by 10 am on Friday, a deadline set by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley this week.