As the Senate Judiciary Committee set a showdown hearing for Thursday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who alleges that the judge sexually assaulted her in high school, the White House on Sunday again defended the President’s pick after new allegations surfaced, as Republicans said this was nothing but a coordinated political effort by Democrats to sink the Kavanaugh nomination.
“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec.
The White House also released a statement from Kavanaugh, who said a New Yorker article about him was nothing but ‘a smear, plain and simple.’
“I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations,” Kavanaugh said.
A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans had announced a hearing for Thursday, at which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will get the chance to detail her allegations of sexual assault from 1982 – and then, Kavanaugh will have the chance to answer the charges.
Republicans on Sunday night also released the original letter by Ford to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from back in July; Democrats did nothing with the allegations until they were leaked to the press in the days before a scheduled committee vote on the Kavanaugh nomination.
“It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything,” Ford wrote in her letter.
Meanwhile, Republicans were still angry with Feinstein for sitting on the letter for two months, as they joined the White House in making the argument that Democrats were simply trying to come up with anything to stop Kavanaugh from joining the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Disgraceful hypocrisy,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
As for Democrats, the rush of new information led them to demand ‘an immediate postponement of any further proceedings’ on the Kavanaugh nomination.
“It is time to set politics aside,” Sen. Feinstein wrote in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Grassley. “We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.”
Also getting involved in the Kavanaugh fray was the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, as Michael Avenatti on Sunday night was already in contact with Judiciary Committee investigators.
The rapid developments left lawmakers in Congress waiting – along with everyone else – to see what more might happen before Thursday’s hearing.
“I call upon Brett Kavanaugh for the good of the country and the integrity of the court to step aside immediately,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), one of the few Senators making public comments on Sunday night.
But there were no indications that the President was going to abandon Kavanaugh, whose nomination may be at its most embattled point yet.