A woman who had anonymously accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s chose to go public with her accusations and provided details of the alleged incident, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
A California professor contends she instantly thought a "stumbling drunk" Kavanaugh might "inadvertently kill" her during a party in the early 1980s while they were in high school, breaking her public silence and handing Republican leaders and the White House tough decisions about what to do next. She says Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, and groped her, and held his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams.
Ford says she didn't reveal what happened until 2012 during couples therapy with her husband. Dianne Feinstein of California said "nothing" for months.
According to a source cited by the New Yorker, Feinstein learned of the alleged incident in July and while her staff members mentioned it to other Democratic lawmakers, they did not share the letter with them. If approved by the committee and the whole Senate, as expected, Kavanaugh is likely to decidedly tilt the court to the conservatives for years to come. He said he recalled his wife using Kavanaugh's last name and expressing concern that Kavanaugh - then a federal judge - might someday be nominated to the Supreme Court.
HIRONO: Judge Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts has recognized that, quote, "The judicial branch is not immune", end quote, from the widespread problem of sexual harassment and assault and has taken steps to address this issue.
The White House called Feinstein's move an "11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation". Ford said the discrepancy was the therapist's error, as there were four boys at the party, but only two in the room when she was allegedly assaulted. "I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was", said the 85-year-old jurist.
Grassley's office says it will proceed with the planned Judiciary committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination next week.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday the FBI should investigate Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh and that the probe should occur before the Senate proceeds with the judge's confirmation.
Feinstein was preparing to lead Democratic questioning of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. Kavanaugh testified before senators for three days about his fitness for the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
"Zero. Nada. Zilch. She didn't say anything in the confirmation hearings", he lamented.
Sixty-five women who knew Kavanagh in high school defended him in another letter, circulated by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, as someone who "always treated women with decency and respect".
She said the person "strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision".
Ford said she believes the incident is responsible for her anxiety and the post-traumatic stress disorder.