With Kavanaugh allegations, Democrats warn of repeating mistakes of Anita Hill hearings

George W. Bush stands by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid sexual misconduct allegation

With Kavanaugh allegations, Democrats warn of repeating mistakes of Anita Hill hearings

Anita Hill urged senators Wednesday to "push the pause button" on plans to hold a hearing next week on allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault decades ago.

Prof Ford's legal team say they have written to Senate Judiciary Committee declining its offer to testify.

Democrats have said they wanted more time for the FBI to investigate - and more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what would turn into merely a "he-said-she-said" moment. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, pushed back, saying that "staff calls aren't the appropriate way to handle this".

Christine Blasey Ford, now a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, told The Washington Post that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when both were teenagers at high schools in suburban Maryland.

Flake said Monday he won't decide how he'll vote until Ford and Kavanaugh have testified.

Goldberg noted that Ford had asked Feinstein to keep the letter confidential and "we don't know who leaked". Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is on the committee, said she believes Ford is telling the truth, and emphasized that "the American public deserves to know the character of someone who will serve for his entire life on the highest court in our country".

Trump has also supported Kavanaugh after the accusation, though he said he wanted the allegation to be aired.

But Democrats, already staunchly opposed to President Trump's nominee, wrote their own letter to Mr Grassley objecting to the format of having Judge Kavanaugh and Prof Ford as the only witnesses.

"If this is he said, she said, then let's believe the she in these scenarios". In the session, Ford described an attack during her high school years, although she did not name Kavanaugh explicitly. Both are now slated to testify at a public hearing on Monday - a situation that has elicited comparisons to Hill's testimony, where she faced intense scrutiny and changed the national conversation about sexual harassment.

"I feel so badly for him that he's going through this", the president said.

"I think the most relevant witnesses are the accuser and the accused", Sen.

It was Anita Hill who, in 1991, accused Thomas of sexual harassment when the jurist was nominated for the Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush. At the time an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee aggressively questioned Hill in televised hearings, cast doubt on her accusations and ultimately voted to move Thomas' nomination to the full Senate which confirmed him to the court. "And given the political environment, and given how the nomination process was rolling along, she made the calculation that she did not want to come forward publicly". For one thing, the committee was made up of 14 white men, and there were only two women in the entire Senate at the time. The 53-year-old judge was there to meet with the White House legal team to prepare for potential interviews or questions from the Judiciary Committee, a source familiar with the matter said.

On Monday a spokesperson for the Justice Department indicated that the FBI does not get involved in matters unless a federal crime is alleged and that it had completed its work related to Kavanaugh's background check.

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