Woman accusing Trump's SC nominee of sexual misconduct breaks silence
A woman who had earlier alleged that US President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, had sexually assaulted her, has identified herself. Speaking to the Washington Post, Christine Blasey Ford said that Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed and had tried undressing her when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh, earlier, had denied all allegations when they surfaced last week. Here's more.
Ford's exact words about the incident
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing," said the 51-year-old Ford, a professor of clinical psychology at the Palo Alto University in California.
Details of the alleged sexual assault incident
The alleged sexual assault of Ford took place sometime in the early 1980s when Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh, 17. Both were attending a party in Maryland when Kavanaugh and his friend, both inebriated, "corralled" Ford into a room. While his friend watched, Kavanaugh clumsily tried to remove Ford's clothing, and put his hand over her mouth when she tried screaming.
Republicans are trying to fast-track Kavanaugh's SC appointment
Ford's decision to break her silence and come forward comes at a time when the Republican party is trying to fast-track Kavanaugh's lifelong nomination to the Supreme Court. Notably, if Kavanaugh's appointment is approved, it is expected to tip the balance of the US Supreme Court to the right. Several Democrats are opposed to Kavanaugh's appointment for his views on issues like abortion.
The revelation comes at a crucial time for Kavanaugh
Following Ford's revelation, Democrats immediately called for the postponement of the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote on Thursday about whether Kavanaugh's nomination should go forward to a full vote in the Senate. Since the allegation surfaced last week, Kavanaugh has already been questioned by the committee, and has, so far, denied all allegations and maintained his innocence.
Kavanaugh "categorically" denies all allegations
"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," said Kavanaugh last week.
Several Republican Senators have expressed their reservations
Currently, Republicans have a single-vote majority on the committee - 11 to Democrats' 10. While Democrats hold that pushing Kavanaugh's nomination through would be an "insult" to American women, Republican senators Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and Lisa Murkowski have expressed their reservations against pushing Kavanaugh's reservation through without hearing Ford's story. Republican Senator Susan Collins is also believed to hold similar views.
A couple of defectors could derail Trump's plans
While none of the aforementioned Republican Senators, except for Flake, sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee that holds the power to push through or reject Kavanaugh's nomination, they could play a key role in the Senate vote, should Kavanaugh's nomination be approved. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and a couple of defectors, possibly Collins and Murkowski, could derail Trump's plans.
The SC's fate could rest on a couple of votes
With the Supreme Court's disposition for a generation hanging in the balance, and with the US mid-term elections drawing closer, the stakes couldn't be higher. While Ford's allegations, which date back over 30 years, might be difficult to prove with any degree of certainty, the fate of the American Supreme Court could boil down to just a couple of votes.