Senate panel says it will vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh nomination

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Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, "I am sorry for what's happened to you and your family as I'm sorry for what has happened to hers", referring to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

During her opening remarks on Thursday, Ford said she was "terrified" to be there but felt it was her "civic duty". "This is hell, this is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this".

Ford alleges Kavanaugh held her down and tried to remove her clothes at a party in 1982 when they were both in high school.

"Avenatti, who now represents a client he says has information about "gang rapes" involving Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, sent out a tweet on Tuesday saying that Kavanaugh's "'I was just an innocent boy' claims on Fox are laughable and an insult to any American with common sense.

The 51-year-old mother of two said the incident was seared into her mind through trauma, while admitting some gaps in her memory around the attack.

She described the alleged assault in meetings with members of Eshoo's staff on July 11 and 13.

Grassley announced on Tuesday that he was scheduling a tentative vote on the committee for the nomination for Friday morning, a day after the panel would convene to hear from Ford and Kavanaugh.

His 45-minute statement was not only a defense of his character and an emphatic denial of the allegations he's faced, but an enraged, nearly uncontrolled indictment of the contentious confirmation process that he had undergone since July. "I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one's pawn", she said.

Kavanaugh's scorched-earth strategy gave President Donald Trump what he wanted: a nominee willing to fight back aggressively and yield no ground to Democrats. "Certainly had never reported it to police", Wallace said.

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Mitchell's questions steered clear of the details of the alleged assault and focused at times on whether Ford was coordinating with Kavanaugh opponents.

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told Kavanaugh at Thursday's hearing the yearbook page was relevant because it was from the time numerous alleged incidents took place.

What happened to the prosecutor?

Then she quickly faded away.

Leahy asked his question in the context of a number of Kavanaugh supporters having proposed a theory that Ford may have actually been assaulted in the past but was mistaken about the identity of her attacker. Lindsey Graham used his allotted time to blast his Democratic colleagues.

"You needed to go to the cops", Graham said. "That's not right", Mitchell said. Asked if there were enough votes to confirm Kavanaugh, Grassley replied, "I think so".

While Republicans want to move forward, they are mindful of the fallout if they do not take the accusations seriously. It's unclear if Kavanaugh has the 50 votes needed to open debate on the Senate floor for the confirmation process.

Republicans are pushing to seat Kavanaugh before the November midterms, when Senate control could fall to the Democrats and a replacement Trump nominee could have even greater difficulty. They later announced that they still meant to vote Friday on Kavanaugh.

"It's been really interesting to me because it seems more of a trial than a job interview to me". Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

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