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Christine Blasey Ford says she wants the FBI to investigate her claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, before she testifies before a Senate hearing.

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges. Ford's attorneys say her email was hacked, and she's been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats", forcing her family to move out of their home.

Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's former classmate who became implicated in the allegation, already signaled that he was unwilling to appear before the Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh strongly denies the allegation and has suggested California college professor Christine Blasey Ford's account could be a case of mistaken identity.

A source close to Trump, who spoke on condition of anonymity, predicted trouble ahead should the Kavanaugh issue not be resolved soon, adding that "with seven weeks to go until an election, this is not the discussion that the Republicans want to be having in the era of the "me too" movement".

If the Judiciary committee's timetable slips, it would become increasingly hard for Republicans to schedule a vote before midterm elections on November 6 elections, when congressional control will be at stake.

The most vulnerable Democratic senators, including Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have not indicated whether they would side with most of their party members in opposing Kavanaugh. A copy of the letter was posted on CNN's website. "She had this meeting, (with Kavanaugh) why didn't she bring it up?"

Greg Rinckey, a lawyer specializing in employment law and the security clearance process, said Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks aren't meant to dig up decades-old claims that never resulted in a police report or criminal charges.

"I believe Dr Ford".

"They did not raise it in the closed session, the proper forum where such an allegation could have been addressed with discretion and sensitivity", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday.

It is unclear if a full investigation would be concluded before the planned public hearing on Monday. What needs to happen is there shouldn't be a rush to a hearing here. Patty Murray, D-Wash., assistant Senate minority leader, speaking about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Ford skeptics, she said, may be inclined to think, " 'It was such a long time ago, it was two teenagers, it wasn't that serious.' But for each individual victim it's an everyday struggle".

"Any Senate Democrat, hailing from a red or blue or purple state, is wise to think deeply about how the larger cultural shifts over the past year-plus should affect their political beliefs", said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic consultant in Chicago.

Ford's attorneys said in the letter that they wanted an FBI investigation of the incident before she testifies in front of the committee in Washington.

Bruno said focusing on the young ages of Kavanaugh and Ford during the alleged assault - Ford was 15 - and the many years that have elapsed misses a larger point. They said the Republican hard line showed they'd learned nothing from the 1991 hearings when Anita Hill's claims of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, were dismissed by the all-male Judiciary panel. And he called a question about whether Kavanaugh should withdraw "ridiculous". Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and Ford came forward publicly over the weekend.

"Republicans extended a hand in good faith", Corker tweeted Tuesday night, commending Chairman Grassley for taking "immediate action to ensure both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh have the opportunity to be heard, in public or private".