With a Tweet, Trump pours scorn on accuser’s story

Battle lines drawn for Senate showdown on Trump court nominee

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh listens during his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 4, 2018.

The latest denial, issued on September 22 by the lawyer for Leland Keyser-one of the four witnesses named by accuser Christine Ford-comes days before Ford is expected to offer her account to the Senate Judiciary Committee at a September 27 hearing.

There are, however, unresolved procedural and logistical issues, Ford's 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".

Ford's complaint centers around an incident that took place at a high school party in the 1980s, where she alleges Kavanaugh and Judge, his friend, followed her upstairs when she went to the bathroom and pushed her into a bedroom.

Her escape came only when Judge, who was in the room with them, jumped on top of the pair, she says. More Americans disapprove than approve of how Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, and President Trump are handling the situation.

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Earlier in the night, Grassley said on Twitter that he had granted an extension to Ford after a 10 pm (0200 GMT Saturday) deadline he set to reach a deal with Ford's lawyers had passed.

If two Republicans vote against Mr Kavanaugh, his nomination could fail. She, too, is asking for an FBI investigation, as Blasey-Ford has done.

Ford accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape at a booze-soaked party in the summer of 1982, at an imprecise time and location.

The shows of solidarity were planned as Ford and the Senate Judiciary Committee continued to negotiate the terms of her upcoming testimony.

She described Kavanaugh as "very outcome driven" and having "an ideological agenda", and appeared to suggest that his hostility toward abortion rights somehow gave credence to Ford's accusation.

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He said if they were to vote in November and vote for politicians that represent their interests, that'd change the equation. She has had to pay for repairs to her elderly parents' front porch in Yabucoa, a municipality to the Southeast of San Juan.

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday" said he wouldn't vote against Kavanaugh without additional evidence."Unless there's something more, no, I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this", he said.

Kavanaugh's confirmation appears to turn mostly on the support or opposition of three Republican senators: Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is on the Judiciary panel that Republicans control 11-10; Susan Collins of ME, who is pro-choice; and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who also is pro-choice and comes from a state where the governor and lieutenant governor oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation. In a pair of tweets, the president questioned why Blasey didn't immediately tell law enforcement officials that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. 64 percent of women would like to see a vote on Kavanaugh delayed and more than half say the FBI should investigate the matter. With Republicans holding a 51-49 majority in the Senate, all Democrats and two Republican senators would need to oppose Kavanaugh for his nomination to fail. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Grassley turned down Ford's request that only senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions.

The White House is approaching Ford's potential testimony with trepidation, nervous that an emotional performance might not just damage Kavanaugh's chances but could further energize female voters to turn out against Republicans in November against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.

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