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Kavanaugh accuser ‘not ready’ to speak to Senate, wants FBI to probe sex assault claims first

Kavanaugh accuser ‘not ready’ to speak to Senate, wants FBI to probe sex assault claims first
Christine Blasey Ford, who accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, will not appear at the hearing scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee, her lawyer said.

An FBI investigation into the allegations “should be the first step” before her client makes any public statement, Ford’s attorney Debra Katz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday evening. “Nothing of substance and nothing legitimate can happen by Monday,” the lawyer stressed.

Ford and Kavanaugh were both invited to publicly present their sides of the story over the allegation that surfaced after the nomination hearings. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who said she had Ford’s letter since Kavanaugh was nominated in July, has not explained why she held it back until now.

The university professor is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct back in 1982, which put Kavanaugh's nomination in jeopardy. The committee officially canceled the confirmation vote scheduled for Thursday, until it hears the testimonies from both the judge and his accuser – and the delay of the public hearing could further prolong the process.

Ford, who came forward in a Washington Post interview Sunday as the author of a July letter accusing Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault three decades ago, is a professor at Palo Alto University in California. She alleges that back then, Kavanaugh and his friend cornered her in a bedroom at a house party in Washington where the future judge groped her.

Kavanaugh called the allegations against him “completely false,” emphasizing that he is willing to clear his name in front of the US lawmakers.

“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes – to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said Monday. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”

The Republicans widely view the timing of the scandal as another stalling tactic by the Democrats to delay the 53-year-old judge’s confirmation. The GOPs remain eager to push through Trump's nomination before November’s mid-term elections when they could lose control of the Senate. As the scandal drags on, Donald Trump has once again voiced his support for the Supreme Court Justice nominee, noting Tuesday that he was “not a man who deserves this,” and stressing that the allegations “should've been brought up long ago.”

Meanwhile the Democrats have been calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegations before the Supreme Court confirmation process can proceed. Trump on Tuesday brushed aside those calls, asserting that he wants his nominee confirmed quickly.

“I don’t think the FBI really need to be involved because they don’t want to be involved. If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know, they say this is not really their thing,” Trump said, after the Justice Department spokesperson noted that FBI had no concern in this.

“The FBI does not make any judgment about the credibility or significance of any allegation,” the spokesperson said in a statement, noting that the bureau had already compiled a background report.

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