Associated Press

Senate Republicans Dismiss New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct Against Kavanaugh

September 24, 2018 - 10:57 am
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WASHINGTON (AP/KNX 1070) — Prominent Senate Republicans are dismissing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. They say the Senate should hear testimony from his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and then immediately proceed to a vote on his nomination.

Ford is slated to testify Thursday about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when he was in college. Kavanaugh denies both allegations.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch says The New Yorker piece is a Democratic "smear campaign." He says the Judiciary Committee should hear from Ford and "then we should vote."

Two other Senate Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, are also urging a vote after the hearing with Ford.

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11:50 a.m.

Dozens of people protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been arrested outside the office of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

The protesters wore black "Be A Hero" shirts and sat outside Collins' office chanting various slogans, including "we will not be silenced." Members of the U.S. Capitol police arrested them one-by-one and led them away.

Protesters have targeted Collins because she is an undecided vote. If she and another Republican oppose Kavanaugh, his nomination could fail.

One of the protesters on hand was Marie Follayttar. She is co-director of a group that has raised money to give to Collins' election opponent in 2020 if she supports Kavanaugh. Follayttar was not among those arrested.

Kavanaugh is set to testify Thursday at a hearing with Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexual assault. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.

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11:10 a.m.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says the furor surrounding sexual harassment claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a "total collapse of the traditional confirmation process."

Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify at a hearing Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh has denied her allegations that he assaulted her at a party when they were in high school. He's also denied new accusations by a woman who says he exposed himself to her while they were students at Yale.

Graham, who is a member of the Judiciary committee, tweeted Monday that there are "no boundaries" when it comes to stopping President Donald Trump.

Graham called the accusations a "game of delay, deception, and wholesale character assassination."

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton also criticized the accusations, saying Democrats "are engaged in a campaign of delay and character assassination against Judge Kavanaugh." Cotton is not on the Judiciary panel.

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9:04 a.m.

President Donald Trump is pledging his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying the sexual misconduct allegations against his choice are "totally political."

Trump, at the United Nations in New York, declared that Kavanaugh is "outstanding," and added, "I am with him all the way."

He spoke as Kavanaugh's nomination appeared in peril after The New Yorker published the account of a second woman who says he exposed himself to her while they were students at Yale. The woman said Kavanaugh forced her to come in contact with his penis while both were inebriated at a party.

The first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has said Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school. She says he covered her mouth and tried to remove her clothing. Ford and Kavanaugh are expected to testify on Thursday.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

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