On Kavanaugh allegations, Murkowski sends message to GOP: 'Take them seriously'


Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has been the subject of mounting sexual misconduct allegations in recent weeks. Senators are being told to keep their schedules open.

Republicans said they were determined to push the nomination through the narrowly-divided Senate as soon as a possible, rejecting Democratic calls to freeze the process to let the FBI investigate all of the allegations.

Republicans have hired a female attorney to handle questioning during this week's hearing with Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told HuffPost. They asked to meet with her beforehand, but Republicans have not released her name.

She said Trump's remarks were "disgusting, it's disgraceful and by the way, women are paying attention".

All 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are men (as are six of the 10 Democrats). In that case, Republicans could try to confirm a nominee during a "lame-duck" Senate session in the fall.

Ashley Kavanaugh said during the interview that the allegations have been hard on her and the couple's two daughters.

The second claim against Kavanaugh dates to the 1983-84 academic year, which was his first at Yale University. Sources exaggerate their résumés, underplay things that make them look bad, make mistakes about what happened or simply outright lie.

Taking the political lead in the high-stakes battle over the future of the court, Trump rejected a claim by Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh was the person who dropped his trousers and thrust his penis in her face at an alcohol-fueled Yale University dorm party about 35 years ago.

Ramirez noted that she was initially hesitant to share her story due to gaps in her memory and is now doing so despite her belief that she will be questioned on her motivation for coming forward now as well as her memory due to her drinking at the event. Christine Blasey Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager.

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Trump blasted Democrats and accused them of "playing a con game" in order to derail Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Yet GOP senators acknowledge the hearing Thursday with Kavanaugh and Ford is a do-or-die moment.

Brett Kavanaugh was in his teens at the time of the alleged assaults, and some of the messaging by his political allies suggests that sexual misconduct and sexual harassment are no big deal.

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, meaning Kavanaugh's confirmation prospects may hinge on the votes of a handful of moderate Republican senators who have not yet announced their intentions, They include Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake. It is certain that McConnell will need to file a cloture motion to bring debate over President Trump's second Supreme Court pick to a close and proceed to a vote.

Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, after which Kavanaugh will have the opportunity to respond. "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so". But other outlets like the New York Times refused to report it because her account could not be corroborated.

A registered Democrat, Ramirez denied that she was politically motivated to step forward now with her accusations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is followed by reporters as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2018.

Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a house party in the early 1980s.

And two former Yale classmates of Kavanaugh took issue Tuesday with his claims that he did not drink excessively or take part in abusing women during his university years.