Kavanaugh hearings: Does panel need 'protocol' for sexual assault allegations?

Ronan Farrow  Reuters

Ronan Farrow Reuters

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The Democrats, all of whom served as prosecutors or state attorneys general, noted that President George H.W. Bush asked the FBI to investigate after law professor Anita Hill raised allegations of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991. It was not immediately clear how Republicans would respond to Ford's request to testify later in the week.

Clark's words were echoed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Democrat whose name is frequently floated as a possible presidential candidate in 2020. Ford claims that Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom and attempted to remove her clothes before she was able to escape. Many survivors of sexual assault choose not to speak out, for a thousand different reasons. So I don't think someone will believe you.I don't think it's unusual at all that she didn't tell anyone back them.

The woman's attorneys called the date set by Republicans "arbitrary", according to multiple U.S. news reports.

The lawmakers' comments came hours after Trump sent out a tweet casting doubt on the account of Ford, a 51-year-old psychology professor in California.

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Acknowledging the tumult Ford's accusation has caused, McConnell said at the Values Voter Summit, "Keep the faith, don't get rattled by it". Ford was 15 at the time.

"I think it's not fair to Judge Kavanaugh for her not to come forward and testify", moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins, whose vote could be crucial, said in a radio interview.

"'I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents", added the president who famously boasted in an Access Hollywood tape, published shortly before being election, that he was so famous he could grab women by "the p**sy" with impunity.

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?" "But many times what happens in these circumstances is that a lot of the peripheral details - ones that are not really central to the experience itself - are either not encoded at all into memory, or they are but then are forgotten because they're not that important, or they're possibly misremembered when the person recalls the event later". By 43 percent to 31 percent, they say it will hurt President Donald Trump.

"There needs to be an unbiased, full investigation of the facts" and a hearing with corroborating witnesses "so you can hear from all sides", said Sen.

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"Thirty-six years, in high school", she said.

If Ford agrees to appear, it would set the stage for a potentially explosive hearing just weeks before congressional elections that will decide the balance of power in Congress, against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault.

Douglas Wigdor, a former prosecutor who now represents victims of sexual harassment and assault, says that's why it can be hard to pursue a criminal case when a victim reports an assault years after the fact. "Shame is at the core of the intense emotional wounding [of] women when they are sexually violated". Using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, survivors shared their stories.

The Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Kavanaugh had originally been scheduled for Thursday. But Ford said Monday is impossible for her, offering instead to testify later in the week under certain conditions. "NOW support her right to justice from a legal system that has failed for too many, for too long".

Asked why victims often don't report assaults, Bruno replied, "Exactly what [Trump] has done to this victim, is my best answer". Dr. Blasey has said she is willing to appear before the committee next week, and she deserves to be treated with respect, and sensitivity to the trauma she has endured as a result of her assault.

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