Trump defends Supreme Court pick after sex assault allegation

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The battle for confirmation comes just weeks before congressional elections on 6 November.

Prof Ford and the Senate Judiciary Committee are engaged in a stand-off, and time is running out, the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue reports from Washington.

Republicans are incensed that they have to go through this.

If they could have found a way out of it, they would have seized it by now, but all exits have been blocked.

On Fox Business Network, Judge Andrew Napolitano was on with Neil Cavuto this afternoon discussing the nomination vote for Brett Kavanaugh in light of Christine Blasey Ford's accusation.

"They also knew that Judge Kavanaugh's reputation would be forever tarnished by this allegation, even if it proved to be false". He's not said there was a misunderstanding for which he should apologize.

The shockingly unfunny joke is a reference to the letter Ford sent Senator Diane Feinstein (a Democrat from California) in July raising her allegation that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her, and covered her mouth during a high school party in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh vehemently denies the Ford's claim.

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Is Kavanaugh's nomination in trouble?

If not, it's time to vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has called on both Judge Kavanaugh and Prof Ford to testify - either publicly or in a closed-door session - next Monday. Berenzweig says she brought it forward after seeing Judge Kavanaugh's repeated denial of engaging in inappropriate behavior with a then 15-year-old girl at a high school party.

"She, Dr. Ford, decided, perhaps reluctantly, that she wanted the world to know information about his qualifications for the court", he said. An elderly lady who lived next door asked what I was doing and when I explained, she said: "You can write his name all over my sidewalk!" She'd have to know there was no chance he'd back her up, and that would discredit her.

Grassley said in a statement Tuesday night that there were never any plans to sit Ford and Kavanaugh together at the witness table, as Banks told Cooper during the interview. "And, frankly, if you were going to believe anyone, you'd believe him".

Prof Ford has been given until Friday to decide if she will testify. Plus, there is reasonably compelling evidence he has lied in the past. An accounting of where and under what circumstances the boys met Christine Blasey Ford. But is it possible for anyone to get to the bottom of that? Cavuto asked Napolitano about the FBI investigating, and whether the GOP should move ahead. It's not what the Federal Bureau of Investigation does, is what he's said so far. First, on whether a hearing addressing the allegations should take place with Kavanaugh if Ford is not there. They say it was easy to mobilize: a chain of friends calling, texting and emailing friends from a Washington-area world where many still live and see each other. "Ford's claims, made this summer, were added to his file, but they did not investigate the claim".

In some ways, they're already making a bigger mess of it.

A schoolmate of Ford came forward Wednesday on Twitter to corroborate her story, saying that the sexual misconduct 'was spoken about for days afterwards in school'.