Public hearing will be held on accusations against Kavanaugh: Senator tells reporters

Cruz says Democrats 'playing games' but agrees that Kavanaugh's accuser should testify before confirmation vote

That left open the question of whether Trump wants Republicans to hear from her in public or private.

Ford also alleges that a friend of Kavanaugh's, Mark Judge, was a participant in the incident.

"If it takes a little delay, it will take a little delay". "I'm sure it will work out very well".

The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, discussed her accusation in an interview with The Washington Post. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - said the committee's planned Thursday vote on the nomination should be postponed until authorities could fully investigate the claims.

The California professor who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school is willing to testify to the Senate, her lawyer told "CBS This Morning" on Monday. "In the meantime, I hope Ms. Blasey Ford receives the respect and dignity to which she is entitled".

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.

"Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday".

"Unfortunately, committee Democrats have refused to join us in this effort".

Democrats are now demanding a delay on the Kavanaugh vote in light of Ford's story.

With Kavanaugh's once-safe nomination for a lifetime job on the top US court now appearing in jeopardy, the conservative federal appeals court judge had meetings at the White House earlier on Monday and issued a fresh denial, calling the assault allegation "completely false".

Over the summer, Ford sent a letter to Feinstein, her USA senator, alleging in dramatic and chilling detail that years ago that Kavanaugh, as another young man watched, pinned her down, groped and assaulted her when they were teenagers at a party. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, also called for slowing the process. Susan Collins of ME, a crucial vote on the nomination, said in a tweet Monday.

Ford told the Post she changed her mind about coming forward after watching portions of her story come out without her permission.

Hatch also said there's "some question" whether Ford is "mixed up" and confusing Kavanaugh with someone else. "He stands ready to testify tomorrow if the Senate is ready to hear him", White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement Monday. And I think we have to pay attention especially to what the format of this hearing is precisely, who speaks.

Conway later tweeted that Kavanaugh is "willing to add to his dozens of hours of sworn testimony".

"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation", Trump wrote on Twitter in February.

During a 10-minute phone call with Sen.

Collins said it would it be "disqualifying" if Kavanaugh had lied about the allegations, but said she did not have information to asses the veracity of Ford's allegations. Her campaign did not immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.

"He said this did not happen and he's naturally very upset about it", Hatch said.

Ms Feinstein on Sunday called on the FBI to investigate Ms Ford's story "before the Senate moves forward on this nominee".

The accusation, made privately in July, took on new weight over the weekend when Ford went on the record with the Washington Post.

Ford, now a psychology professor at California's Palo Alto University, gave her description of her encounter with Kavanaugh to The Washington Post in an interview published Sunday. "She believes that these allegations obviously bear on his character and his fitness, and the denials of course bear on his character and fitness". Even if Democrats peel off the one Republican vote to not recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate, Republicans have another option. I want him to go in at the absolute highest level.

A Republican not on the committee, Bob Corker of Tennessee, said the vote should be postponed until the committee heard from Ford. Ford says four boys were at the party, but only two boys were in the room at the time. "Once the Federal Bureau of Investigation has completed its independent work, we hope that we can work together in a bipartisan manner to decide on next steps".

With that said, Graham added that such considerations should be made when the accused is seeking a confirmation vote before the Senate.

At the White House, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told reporters, "She should not be insulted". Ford said that Kavanaugh covered her mouth his his hand when she attempted to scream.

Amid the uproar, Republicans continued to express anger Monday that Ford's allegations did not surface until after Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. During that meeting, Ford asked for complete confidentiality.

Charles Grassley, the Republican Iowa senator who chairs the panel, released a statement saying Ford's allegations would be considered.

In a statement, Sen.

"Staff calls aren't the appropriate way to handle this", Feinstein said.

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