Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify in Senate hearing

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Ford "accepts the committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week", said a message from her lawyers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, US media reported.

The deal sets up a final showdown in the bitter fight over President Donald Trump's second high court pick. It's unclear whether Kavanaugh has agreed to appear on Thursday, but he had previously been willing to testify before senators to defend himself.

Earlier Saturday, a senior official at the White House said Ford's requests amounted to "a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday".

But he added "unless there's something more" to back up her accusation, he's "not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this".

Judge Brett Kavanaugh looks on during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Sept. 4, 2018 in Washington.

Katz had said the deadline was "aggressive and artificial".

"It's not surprising that Ms. Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it", Katz said.

But she will also face great scepticism, not least from some of the Republican members of the judiciary committee who will question her on Thursday.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of IL, also a Judiciary Committee member, questioned why Ford would have come forward if the allegation wasn't true. Also unclear was when she might come to Capitol Hill and she was offering to speak in a public session or a private one.

"Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the committee is completely inappropriate". Durbin said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

This is because Republicans have not been serious about investigating this matter.

There are only two people who can officially call off Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, FiveThirtyEight reports. The Committee determines which witnesses to call, how many witnesses to call, in what order to call them, and who will question them. "I will support her steadfast bravery".

Mark Judge, who Ford alleged was at the party in the early 1980s when the alleged assault occurred, will not be subpoenaed by the committee as Ford's legal team had requested, according to the attorneys. President Trump also challenged the credibility of the allegations, asking on Twitter, "Why didn't someone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago".

As the back-and-forth continued late Friday and into Saturday, Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee began to grow tired of the extended talks. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, confirmed the hearing would take place at 10 a.m. Thursday. An aide to a member of the Senate's Democratic leadership told CNN that, "outside counsel doesn't vote on Kavanaugh". "Keep the faith, don't get rattled by any of this". Can we set up a time for later this afternoon to continue our negotiations?

Grassley also complained about not having heard from Ford regarding her potential Senate testimony. "I remain committed to defending my integrity".

A GOP Judiciary Committee investigator contacted Keyser last Tuesday, saying Keyser had been "identified" as attending that party and wanted to talk to her. Committee spokesman Taylor Foy said Keyser's name "came up" in its investigation.

The panel rejected some of the other demands, including that Kavanaugh testify first, that the committee call additional witnesses that Ford requests, and that only senators be allowed to ask questions.

Republicans had hoped to push through a successful confirmation of the president's pick to join the Supreme Court before oral arguments begin on October 1. "We know this", Hirono said on CNN's "State of the Union."