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Both Kavanaugh and Ford were called to testify before the committee on Monday, but Ford says she wants an FBI investigation first.

Debra Katz, a lawyer representing Ford, said in television interviews on Monday that the professor would be willing to testify and called the alleged incident "attempted rape".

"We will not sit by and let Republicans use this hearing to attack, undermine and shame Ford", declared UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas.

Early on Tuesday, Cristina King Miranda said on Twitter she heard about the incident shortly after it happened. "This just came out 48 hours ago".

The Senate, the committee chairman notes, "and only the Senate", is tasked with vetting a president's Supreme Court nominee.

Feinstein has said that she wants to postpone the hearing until a full FBI investigation can be completed. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is on the committee, said she believes Ford is telling the truth, and emphasized that "the American public deserves to know the character of someone who will serve for his entire life on the highest court in our country".

"Immediately after learning of Dr. Ford's identity from news reports Sunday, committee staff started working to gather facts related to her claims. We've held up the whole hearing", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Hill was first approached by the Judiciary Committee and was invited to provide background information on Thomas because she had worked with him, according to a New York Times article the following month, which cites a written statement from Hill that was sent to news organizations. "The invitation for Monday (Sept. 24) still stands".

"Dr. Ford may have been forced into the limelight against her will, just as Anita Hill was, but the treatment she receives should be different", wrote Lapidus.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL, the No. 2 Democrat, said Judge is needed "specifically and personally as an eyewitness to the occurrence". "The F.B.I. conducts background checks on judicial nominees". And the Federal Bureau of Investigation reiterated Wednesday that it had included information about the allegations in Kavanaugh's background file, and that it is now up to the White House to decide what to do with it.

The Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, raised doubts about Ford's account of the alleged three-decade-old incident, saying, "The problem is Dr. Ford can't remember when it was, where it was, or how it came to be".

Democrats, already opposed to Kavanaugh, have sought an FBI investigation, a request Republicans rebuffed. The Post story describes her as a "Washington lawyer known for her work on sexual harassment cases".

Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegations of sex assault, which stem from when he and Ford were in high school. "This is a completely false allegation". She may not have wanted to become this face of the Me Too movement, and anxious about her safety after sending the letter to Feinstein via Eshoo's office, but she found Kavanaugh's nomination to be worrisome enough to speak up.

Correction: Collins is not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as this post reported originally.

Grassley said details about how the hearing would be conducted had not been worked out, including parameters for panel members posing questions or the possibility that committee Republicans could choose a single questioner. "I really would want to see what she has to say".

"What we're saying is there should be an investigation because that's the right thing to do", Banks said.

In the Senate, the issue of whether, when and if Ford might testify has ignited a furor, especially among Democratic women.

Democrats have rejected the GOP process and are refusing to participate in any committee phone interviews.

"There are gaps in her memory", Cornyn said. "Only then should the chairman set a hearing date", Feinstein said.

Finally, refer to Christine Blasey Ford by her name. "We're better than this".

'I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter, ' added Judge, who wrote a book about his high school days describing heavy partying, drinking, and teenage sex.