She told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh had tried to sexually assault her when both of them were in high school more than 30 years ago.
Now, the decision by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa to hold a public hearing about the accusations next Monday will nearly certainly determine whether Kavanaugh gets his seat on the court, something that would shift the court further to the right.
Leahy did not weigh in on the matter again until late Monday morning, when he joined all of his fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee in ordering its chair, Sen.
"For too long, when women have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored". Democrats rejected the idea and have called for the FBI to investigate the allegation as part of a background check.
But Mr Trump said he believed Mr Kavanaugh's nomination remained on track and he had full confidence in his nominee, who he said had "never even had a little blemish on his record".
"One thing I will say is that, as I understand it, Judge Kavanaugh spent quite a bit of time with Sen". Ford has also passed a polygraph test which was administered by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent last month.
In the article, she alleged that at a party during their high school years, Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom along with his friend Mark Judge, attempted to remove her clothes and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.
Now a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation's second most powerful court, Kavanaugh seemed to be on a smooth confirmation track until the new allegation emerged. Both women said they did not know of the party where Ford claimed she was attacked.
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"I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone", he said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters Monday at an event at the residence of the US ambassador to Ireland, Biden again expressed regret for how Hill was treated and insisted he'd believed her allegations against Thomas from the very start.
On Sunday, the White House sent The Washington Post a statement issued by Kavanaugh that said, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation". Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, for some time.
In addition to Collins, another key Republican, Alaska Sen. Senate Republicans faced a quandary on Monday: reopen the Kavanaugh hearings and allow the woman to testify, potentially torpedoing his nomination and convincing more moderate Republicans to vote against him; pull his nomination entirely and start over with someone new, running the risk that they lose the Senate to Democrats in the coming months and see any far-right nomination rendered impossible; or push Kavanaugh's nomination forward and inevitably see significant blowback at the polls in November.
"What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge", Sen.
Kavanaugh is now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, widely viewed as the nation's second-most-powerful court.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to members of the media outside her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 17, 2018.
In morning television interviews, Katz said her client was willing to tell her story in public to the Judiciary panel, although no lawmakers or their aides had yet contacted her. Katz also denied that Ford, a Democrat, is politically motivated.
"Judge Kavanaugh is one of the finest people that I've ever known". Debra S. Katz, Ford's attorney, said on NBC's "Today" that Ford was ready to testify publicly to the Judiciary panel, but she did not respond Monday evening to efforts to learn whether she would appear.