US Senate holds hearing on Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference during the United Nations General Assembly

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination at 9:30 a.m. today, and if he makes it out of committee, the full Senate could act as early as next week. He angrily denied her allegation, alternating a loud, defiant tone with near tears of his own, particularly when discussing his family. Democrats repeated this demand at a dramatic hearing on Thursday, during which both Ford and Kavanaugh testified before the committee.

On Thursday, the committee heard testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, now a professor of psychology in California, who says Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Flake, a key moderate Republican, was at the centre of the drama and uncertainty.

The bitter fight over Kavanaugh's nomination is unfolding just weeks before the November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to seize majority control of Congress from the Republicans. But even if the panel deadlocks on whether to recommend the judge for confirmation, the full Senate could start taking procedural votes September 29 on Kavanaugh, setting up a final vote as soon as October 2. Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it's unnecessary.

The hearing was to be the culmination of a Supreme Court nomination process that will determine the political bent of the court for decades, and quite likely decide issues such as the legality of abortion and gay marriage in the United States. But Trump is expressing optimism, saying: "I'm sure it will all be very good".

President Donald Trump urged Republicans to confirm him.

All the Republicans voted in favour, while all the Democrats voted against.

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Mr Kavanaugh has steadfastly denied all the allegations.

In a letter addressed to Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Sen.

"I know any kind of investigation-Senate, FBI, Montgomery County Police-will clear me", Kavanaugh said Thursday.

She claims that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her over her clothes and attempted to take them off at a house party in 1982, when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford was 15. Its members and staff are the ones who must draw conclusions about what they believe so its members can vote on whether to recommend his nomination to the full Senate. U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is a Republican but a constant and sharp critic of the President. Mazie Hirono told reporters when asked if she would be in her seat in the Judiciary Committee hearing room when the vote is held. He added, "I hope the American people can see through this sham".

"I have deep reservations about Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to this lifetime position and. we have been unable to get all the information necessary regarding this nomination, despite my best efforts", Donnelly said in a statement on Friday.

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee released a document detailing their investigative work that showed they had interviewed two separate men who said they believed that they, not Judge Kavanaugh, assaulted Ford.

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