Trump's court nominee, faces new sex allegation

At First Indecisive But Now Not So Sure Ford Kavanaugh Testimony 'Tentatively' Scheduled For Thursday

Trump spoke after the New Yorker reported on Sunday evening that a 53-year-old woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of thrusting his genitals in her face at a party when they were freshmen at Yale during the 1983-84 academic calendar.

A second woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's embattled nominee for the Supreme Court.

Speaking in NY, where he is attending the U.N. General Assembly this week, Trump said the allegations against Kavanaugh are "totally political".

The New Yorker's report says at least four Democratic senators have received details of the allegation.

Kavanaugh told the magazine in a statement that the newly alleged event from 35 years ago "did not happen". "This is a smear, plain and simple", said Judge Kavanaugh.

"Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women".

In response to the New Yorker story, the White House sent out a list of "what you need to know", where it attempts to discredit Ramirez's allegations.

There are still unresolved procedural and logistical issues regarding Ford's testimony, her lawyers said, including whether the Judiciary Committee's Republican senators, who are all male, or staff attorneys would question her. Ford's lawyers said "various senators have been dismissive of her account and should have to shoulder their responsibility to ask her questions". Democrats, against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, countered that Ford should be shown respect and given accommodation to tell her story.

The New Yorker could not completely verify Ramirez's story - due a complete lack of sober witnesses. Kavanaugh also is set to appear at the hearing.

Grassley's spokesman, George Hartmann, told CNN that the chairman will "look into" the new allegation, but there are no plans at the moment to delay the Thursday hearing. Female staff attorneys for the Republican majority will question Ford, avoiding the hard optics of having the all-male GOP members of the committee grill a woman making a claim of sexual misconduct against a would-be Supreme Court justice. So, Ramirez went from uncertain, to confident in order to support Ford's claim.

Trump also echoed an earlier slam he made against Christine Blasey Ford, suggesting her allegation was suspicious because she did not report it at the time.

The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee Thursday morning.

The White House remained firmly behind Kavanaugh Monday and planned an aggressive defense, said a White House official not authorized to speak publicly, who stressed the lack of corroborating evidence. "Enough is enough. Brett Kavanaugh needs to withdraw immediately". The Senate Judiciary Committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female lawyer to interrogate Ford.

David Popp, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said he had not talked to McConnell on Sunday night but that he was unaware of the allegations before they became public.

"She said point blank, 'I don't want to ruin anyone's life, ' but she feels this is a serious claim", he added.

The tentative accord could bring to a close days of high-stakes brinkmanship that have roiled Washington ahead of midterm elections and threated to jeopardize Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court.



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