As Senate hearing is set for Brett Kavanaugh, new accuser emerges

Lawrence Kim
September 25, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford is set to testify on her sexual misconduct allegations against the Supreme Court nominee on Thursday, and a second person has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as well.

The choice of Martha MacCallum as interviewer was also notable.

Bipartisan Judiciary Committee staff will interview Ramirez privately about her allegation, said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican.

Her allegation against the conservative federal appeals court judge has endangered his confirmation by the Republican-led Senate to a lifetime job on the top USA court.

Sunny Hostin called for a full FBI investigation into the claims from both Ramirez and Kavanaugh's first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, saying "that way it's transparent, it's nonpartisan".

Lori A. Ringhand, a law professor at the University of Georgia and an expert on the confirmation process, noted that Felix Frankfurter became the first Supreme Court nominee to testify in public to counter criticism that surfaced during his hearing.

The New Yorker said it contacted Ramirez after learning of a possible involvement in an incident with Kavanaugh.

Collins said Monday she remained undecided about Kavanaugh.

In the run-up to an appearance by Kavanaugh and his main accuser at a dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Trump called the accusations "totally political" and among "the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything".

Hatch said of the committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination: "It ought to be done before the end of this week". It would only take a single Republican going against Kavanaugh for the nomination not to be confirmed. Deborah Ramirez told the New Yorker in a report published Sunday that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party while they were both freshmen at Yale, thrusting his penis in her face and forcing her to touch it when she pushed him away. The similar tones and wording they used in defending him suggested a concerted effort to undermine the women's claims and portray an image of unity among GOP senators while pressing toward a confirmation vote. It is not immediately clear how lawmakers intend to handle the latest batch of allegations against Kavanaugh, but it is clear his nomination is in grave danger.

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.

Democrats again called for the FBI to investigate Ford's claims, a request that was unlikely to be met as President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have said it's unnecessary.

Separately, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stephanie Clifford, who says she had an affair with Trump before he was elected president, said on Twitter that he represents a woman "with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh".

Ashley Kavanaugh said it was "difficult" to have conversations about what is happening with their two girls.

"I think part of it is Judge Kavanaugh's resolve", Sen.

Despite the New Yorker also raising concerns about Ramirez's claims - the magazine reported that she "was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh's role in the alleged incident with certainty" - one of the piece's writers, Ronan Farrow, told ABC on Monday that there are "several people in this story who back Ms. Ramirez".

Still, the White House and Republicans have cast doubt on Ford's allegations. She made a decision to come forward after "assessing her memories" and consulting with her lawyer, the magazine said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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