Three Ways Kavanaugh Nomination Could Play Out After Accuser Speaks

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Feinstein said in a statement Sunday that "it has always been Mrs. Ford's decision whether to come forward publicly".

The attack took place in Maryland.

The magazine reported the allegation in the letter was "that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to hide the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand". At one point, she said, he put his hand over her mouth so she would be quiet.

Ford said she was able to escape Kavanaugh and his friend, whom she identified as Mark Judge. "I never saw Brett act that way", Judge said to the Weekly Standard, addressing allegations that at the time stemmed from reports citing an unnamed woman.

Feinstein's apology to Kavanaugh over protesters' frequent interruptions during his confirmation hearing also earned Waters' criticism. Scalia, whom she described as "certainly a known character", was confirmed unanimously.

HIRONO: Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct? "There are far too many questions swirling around this nomination". "I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was", said the 85-year-old jurist. "That is what we have to change", Hirono said in a statement Sunday.

Kavanaugh, now 53 and a federal appeals judge in Washington, has denied the allegation.

At minimum, it seems likely that additional hearings will need to be scheduled to explore the truth of the allegation.

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"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court", Feinstein said in her surprise statement.

Kavanaugh's nomination by President Donald Trump has divided the Senate, with most Democrats opposing him and most Republicans supporting him.

The letter, which was sent to Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), was subsequently passed on to Feinstein, people familiar with the matter said. She had forwarded it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who added it to Kavanaugh's background file ― but said it had no plans to investigate the allegation further.

The report adds that Ford told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. She told the Post: "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation".

"No way, not even a hint of it", the unnamed lawyer said, asked if Kavanaugh's nomination would be withdrawn.

The Senate's female Republican senators, nearly all of whom McConnell and Trump must keep in the "yes" column, could decide whether the allegations are tested.

In its initial story, The Intercept reported the letter was said to have been written by someone affiliated with Stanford University. Every other Republican in the Senate is expected to vote yes - and some Democrats from Trump-won states may join them - though it remains to be seen if the misconduct allegation will cost him any support.