President Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis wrote about her own sexual assault experience to defend Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, is reportedly negotiating the terms under which she would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
Republicans have pressured Ford to testify at a hearing this Monday, a session at which Kavanaugh has already said he'd appear.
If she didn't agree, committee chairman Charles Grassley said, he would go ahead and schedule a vote on confirming Kavanaugh on Monday, but without her testimony.
Grassley turned down Ford's request that only senators, not lawyers, be allowed to ask questions.
The new demand comes after nearly a full business week since first being offered the opportunity to testify in any one of a number of ways, including in open committee and behind closed doors, as to her allegation that Kavanaugh and another teenager attacked and groped her at a high school party more than 35 years ago.
Ford says she wants to appear, but has issued a series of conditions that Conway said Friday sound more like demands.
If there are no further revelations, the party plans to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination in the Judiciary Committee shortly after hearing her testimony.
"We know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist", Collins said, according to the Portland Press Herald.
But it seemed nearly certain that Kavanaugh would testify last, a position attorneys believe is advantageous because it allows a rebuttal of any charges. She will have the opportunity to do so before we give Judge Kavanaugh the opportunity to respond.
Both families - Kavanaugh's and Ford's - have said they're getting death threats.
Attacking Ford, as Trump did, hardened the standoff between Ford and Senate Republicans into a risky - and now direct - confrontation. In response, Ford told the Washington Post: "There is zero chance that I would confuse them".
Trump's Friday tweets contrasted with comments earlier in the week when he said Ford should be heard, even if it meant a delay in the confirmation process. Mr Kavanaugh denies any attack occurred, and he said in a letter Thursday to Grassley, an Iowa Republican, that he was prepared to come before the panel on Monday to "clear my name" of the allegation. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
Mr Trump questioned why law enforcement was not called at the time of the alleged assault, in 1982, if it was "as bad as she says". "Let her tell her story, under oath, here in Washington".
"Perhaps the aging men who are poised to interrogate her, unless they hide behind surrogates, should pause for a moment and think about the courage it takes for a woman to say: Here is my memory". Using a combination of Justice Department statistics and Census Bureau surveys, the government says fewer than 1 in 4 rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police in 2016. The proposal calls for Ford to testify first and Kavanaugh second.
With Nov 6 elections approaching that will determine control of the House and Senate, Republicans are under intense pressure to consider the allegation in a way that doesn't turn women and independents away from the party while moving the nomination forward as quickly as possible, as President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders want. "This is the same man who has been credibly accused of more than a dozen cases of sexual assault or harassment".