Grassley focusing on making Kavanaugh accuser 'comfortable' to speak with his committee

SIDES OF THE STORY U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who had called for Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh to testify under oath about Ford’s allegations against him talks to the press outside her office yesterday

Showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser scheduled for next week

President Trump says he hopes the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her will appear at a hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. But Senate Republicans have signaled that if Ford wants to testify, she'd have to do it next week, not after the lengthy delay an FBI investigation would cause. "I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh". "From what I've heard you have 6 months to live, you disgusting slime", one message said.

On Tuesday, Ford's lawyers sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is handling Kavanaugh's confirmation, insisting that the FBI investigate her charge before she testifies to the committee.

President Donald Trump telegraphed earlier Monday that that schedule might slow.

Some Democratic lawmakers have also called for an FBI investigation.

Trump echoed that argument, saying that the FBI doesn't investigate claims like Blasey Ford's and noting that Kavanaugh has passed previous vettings for federal posts. Judge Kavanaugh has also said he is willing to testify.

If the worst-case election scenario happens for Senate Republicans, they lose control of the process to shape the Supreme Court.

Grassley said Tuesday that he will invite only two witnesses to the hearing to testify before the committee next Monday: Kavanaugh and his accuser Ford. "It can be closed, whatever Ms. Ford wants", said Sen. And I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up.

Donald Trump for additional $200 billion tariffs on China
If imposed, those tariffs would bring the total imports from China subject to penalties to more than $500 billion. The move came as both countries implemented tariffs this summer on $50 billion worth of goods from the other.

After his nomination was announced in July, Bush voiced his support, for Kavanaugh, calling him "a fine husband, father and friend - and a man of the highest character".

The duelling testimony had been expected to take place Monday in a piece of blockbuster Washington theatre, putting both Trump's bid to tilt the Supreme Court to the right and political momentum ahead of November midterm congressional elections into play.

A spokesman for the police department in Montgomery County, Maryland, site of the alleged incident, said it has no investigation ongoing.

She said she feared Kavanaugh might inadvertently kill her before she managed to flee. "So she's been spending her time trying to figure out how to put her life back together, how to protect herself and her family", Banks told CNN Tuesday night.

One witness the Democrats want to hear from is Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted.

In a bombshell interview with The Washington Post on Sunday, Ford described how she was at a teenage party with Kavanaugh in 1982, when she was at Holton Arms and he went to Georgetown Prep.

"We're not talking about whether the conditions are 'ideal, ' we're talking about whether the conditions are actually tenable - whether or not it's going to be anything more than just a sham proceeding, so that the senators can say, 'We gave her a chance to talk, '" before going on to just confirm him as they intended, Hill said.

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