WASHINGTON ― Senior Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee knew last week that more sexual misconduct allegations were about to come out against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but tried to speed up his confirmation process instead of slowing it down to investigate, say two senior Senate Democratic aides familiar with committee discussions.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh declared in a televised interview on Monday that he never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or at any other time in his life. Now that these sexual assault allegations have surfaced, it is up to the Senate to decide whether Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative and Trump's second Supreme Court pick, was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.
She said in a statement: "I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims".
"Mr. Kavanaugh's actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life".
The accusation from Ms Ramirez raises the stakes further for a dramatic showdown on Thursday, as Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford give evidence in public about an incident she characterises as attempted rape - and that he says simply never happened. Ramirez says she and Kavanaugh were sitting in a small group of students playing a drinking game at the campus' Lawrance Hall.
"I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity, and I know I'm telling the truth".
Journalists and others quickly pointed out that it is highly unusual for a Supreme Court nominee to conduct an interview with the media or engage in an effort to clear his own name during the confirmation process - and even more unusual for the interview to be conducted by a partisan news network. "I didn't see it; I never heard of it happening", said the woman, who was married to a male classmate who was alleged to have been involved. MacCallum asked him how long he was a virgin in college, after he volunteered that he never had sex in high school.
"Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person".
The White House backed Kavanaugh, with spokesperson Kerri Kupec calling the latest allegation a "smear campaign by Democrats to tear down a good man". Christine Blasey Ford, who knew Kavanaugh during his Georgetown Prep days.
Both Ford and Ramirez want the FBI to investigate.
"This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate", Bromwich said.
That's been followed by a new claim against Kavanaugh by another woman.
Republicans had been bullish about Kavanaugh's chances to ride out the storm, given that Ford did not appear to have any corroborating witnesses ready to testify.
U.S. Capitol Police reported that 128 people were arrested on charges of unlawfully demonstrating in Senate office buildings.
The interview saw Kavanaugh continue a tone he struck in a letter Monday to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking minority member Dianne Feinstein. We are talking about an allegation of sexual assault.
Even if Republicans lose their Senate majority, they could still have time to confirm a nominee in a post-election lame-duck session, but the GOP has not indicated that is under consideration.
Trump and other Republicans loudly echoed that assessment Monday, with the president saying he is looking forward to a confirmation vote.