Delay vote to let Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser testify, Susan Collins says

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reassured Republicans that Judge Brett KavanaughPresident Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick now facing a sexual assault accusation ― will soon take his place on the highest court in the nation.

"First of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault - I'm not saying that's what happened in this case - but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist", the most senior Republican woman in the Senate told supporters Friday afternoon.

Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer says her client will not appear on Monday, as senators proposed, but might do so next week on "terms that are fair".

Trump's change in tone - and apparent shift in tactics - came as Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers negotiated with the Senate Judiciary Committee on the terms for her possible testimony next week in a dramatic showdown over her accusation that threatens Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Mr Trump said in a tweet that "if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says", she would have pressed charges.

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Calling on Dr Ford to "bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!", he asked: "Why didn't someone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago?"

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her in the early 1980s during a party while they were in high school.

Now Katz has said her client would be willing to come before the committee but not on Monday.

Gillibrand also argued that Ford's call for an FBI investigation bolstered her credibility.

US President Donald Trump (right) greets Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2018, in Washington.

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However, Prof Ford has set out conditions for her appearance which have yet to be agreed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Moreover, Trump, his advisors, and Republican lawmakers are of the opinion that Ford deserves to be heard. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Another person asking for leads from the alumnae page claimed to be in touch with the Washington Post and other newspapers, wanting to talk with individuals "who want to support Dr. Ford".

Since making the allegation, Republicans in charge of the committee have scrambled to offer Ford the opportunity to testify on Monday and gave her several options for an interview venue with the committee or committee staff in D.C. or even in her home state of California. Mark Judge sent a letter to Grassley's committee saying he had "no memory" of the incident Dr. Ford disclosed. Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona - said that unless Ford testified Monday they would move on to Kavanagh's vote. Although they are employing a more gentle touch, Republican members of the Committee are doing to Dr Ford what they did to Anita Hill, 27 years ago, when they refused to allow three independent witnesses to testify in support of Hill's version of events. Mr Judge has told the committee he does not recall the incident and does not want to speak publicly. "They have until this Friday at 10:00 let us know whether they are coming", he said. Kavanaugh was spotted at the White House on Thursday.

Democrats, already opposed to Kavanaugh even before Ford made her allegation, accused Republicans of trying to railroad the nomination through the Senate.

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