The Senator who holds a critical and pivotal vote for Republicans on Brett Kavanaugh may just have moved closer to opposing him after President Donald Trump's Friday morning tweet attacking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford by name. After my first ten cases, the ache in my stomach would come like clockwork as I sat down to open a sexual assault file for the first time.
Dr Ford has yet to give her full account in public and said the FBI should investigate her claim.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that if the incident was a "bad" as Ford says, then she or her parents should've contacted the police.
"Some have gone so far as to state, "She's mixed up"; "She's mistaken"; "She's not in really a position to make conditions"; and, 'I'll listen to the lady, but we're going to bring this to a close.' These shameful attacks show why it is so hard for survivors of sexual assault to come forward", the Democrats wrote in their letter. Ford alleges that at a party when they were teenagers 30 years ago a drunken Kavanaugh held her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothing and clapped his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream before she managed to escape. In the call, she said Ford needs time to secure her family, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington. Susan Collins has suggested she will vote for Kavanaugh unless Ford testifies. "What's going on?" But, he also said that Dr. Ford should "have her say, and let's see how it all works out".
Ms Ford's lawyers said earlier this week that she would not appear before the Senate until the FBI has investigated the allegations.
"Senate Republicans are attempting to make Dr. Blasey Ford testify on just a few days' notice - without having the Federal Bureau of Investigation follow up on her allegations and provide a report first", said the letter, which was spearheaded by Sens.
Judge Kavanaugh has issued a fresh rebuttal of the allegation.
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While President Trump had been unusually restrained in his comments on Ford's allegation, during an interview with Sean Hannity ahead of a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday night, he criticized Ford's call for an investigation, saying, "Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?"
But wait. If Mark Judge's letter to the Judiciary Committee is sufficient to make its Republican members accept the contents of the letter at face value, why don't they do the same for the letter Dr Ford sent to ranking Committee member Diane Feinstein?
Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked Ford's attorneys to respond by 10 a.m. Friday on whether she plans to appear before his panel at a hearing planned for Monday. Perhaps they hope that the longer they string this out, the more unlikely it will be for the president to restrain his Twitter finger and that he will say something to outrage women voters.
Underscoring the sensitivity of all-male GOP senators grilling a woman who's alleged abuse, Republicans are considering reaching out to female attorneys who might question Ford, according to a person familiar with the situation but who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate their claims", she said.
By refusing to call Mark Judge as a witness, and refusing to direct the FBI to investigate, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the president are in lockstep. He would know. As he campaigned for president, 16 women had accused him of sexual assault, including on the set of The Apprentice.
White House officials remain confident Kavanaugh will be confirmed.