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Democrats again called for the FBI to investigate Ford's claims, a request that was unlikely to be met as President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have said it's unnecessary.

"There's a chance this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate", Trump said Monday, after leaving United Nations Headquarters in NY, which is holding a General Assembly meeting this week.

A woman named Deborah Ramirez claims that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a party at Yale University in the 1980s when they were both students there.

Kavanaugh, 53, an appellate court judge, has denied Ford's allegation and said he wanted to testify as soon as possible to clear his name.

Ramirez's accusation comes on the heels of that of Christine Blasey Ford, whose accusation of attempted rape at a high school party upended Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings after it was leaked to the press earlier this month.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations, telling sources he was "flabbergasted" when he learned of them.

In a letter to Grassley, Feinstein called for "an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh". And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence has also drawn intensified attention to the #MeToo movement's focus on sexual abuse. The letter sent to Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, had not previously been available.

One Democratic aide on the committee said senators have heard many rumors but did not have details about Ramirez's specific allegation before the story was published.

A White House spokeswoman says the administration stands by the nominee, labelling the allegation "the latest in coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats created to tear a good man down".


For Democrats, the row is a golden opportunity to build on anger among female voters at Trump's often dismissive attitude to allegations of sexual misconduct - including against the president himself. Defections among Republicans would likely block his path to the Supreme Court. The Judiciary panel said it had talked to three other people whom Ford has told The Washington Post were at the party where the alleged assault took place - Mark Judge, Patrick J. Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser.

"No innuendo has been too low, no insinuation too dirty", Hatch said in a statement, adding that the committee should proceed with its Thursday hearing. Katz requested that the hearing be held next Thursday, and that Kavanaugh testify before Ford, among other requests.

Christine Blasey Ford's accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left Kavanaugh's confirmation in limbo.

Even before the latest turns, the carefully negotiated hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee with Kavanaugh and Ford carried echoes of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991.

The White House response shows a fresh willingness to attack Ford, coming after a series of critical comments from President Donald Trump the day before about her credibility.

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican member of the committee, castigated the Democrats.

As he builds a case for his innocence, Mr Kavanaugh plans to turn over to the committee calendars from the summer of 1982.

Republican committee staff told Ford's attorneys that they would be unwilling to accept what they characterized as a "demand" that only senators be permitted to ask questions of the witnesses.

Trump cast doubt on the veracity and the timing of the piece, believing it was further proof of what he has been saying privately: that the Democrats and media were conspiring to undermine his Supreme Court pick.


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