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The woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee rejected an ultimatum Friday for testifying in the Senate after the USA president turned against her, claiming her accusation could not be true. Ford, a 51-year-old California psychology professor, says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

The scandal, which broke a week ago, has already delayed what seemed to be the certain confirmation of Kavanaugh in the Republican-controlled Senate. Kavanaugh accepted, and has spent most of the week at the White House preparing.

Had Ford's lawyers not responded to the proposal or if Ford decided not to testify by the deadline, Grassley said, the committee would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Monday.

Their allies and opponents are issuing ferocious statements, further electrifying the election season atmosphere. Some people have defended Kavanaugh with a "boys will be boys" attitude and attempted to smear Ford.

Trump spent most of the week unusually restrained and heeding the tone set publicly by counselor Kellyanne Conway.

Ford's legal team has said she strongly prefers that her allegations are fully investigated before she testifies. If she doesn't testify, and no other evidence emerges against Kavanaugh, Republicans will have just enough cover to ram his nomination through.

She is willing to tell her story to the committee, whose senators will vote on Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation, but only if agreement can be reached on "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety", the lawyer said.

In his tweet Friday, Trump called on Blasey to produce contemporaneous law enforcement reports "so that we can learn date, time, and place!"

And Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), said the president should call for the FBI to investigate if he wanted to "get to the bottom" of Blasey's account. Mr Trump has said he won't ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to reopen its background probe of Mr Kavanaugh. Trump has refused to ask for that. The percentage reporting in 2016 for rape or sexual assault was just 22.9 percent.

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Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

"I said, 'We have to fight for him, not worry about the other side, '" President Trump said of Kavanaugh. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "I'm not saying that's what happened in this case - but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist". He has said he wants to appear before the committee as soon as possible to clear his name. As of Friday, he was scheduled to do so on Monday. The head of the panel, Senator Chuck Grassley, said he would give her until 10pm Friday to respond.

But Grassley also struck an apologetic tone toward Kavanaugh, adding he hoped the judge understands. She can agree by Friday to recount one of her life's defining traumas to hostile men on extremely short notice, or lose her chance to have the Senate consider her story. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

The panel has proposed holding a hearing next Wednesday in which it would hear testimony from both Kavanaugh and Ford, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Her lawyers previously suggested that the committee's senators question their client, not an outside counsel. Much later, The Wall Street Journal reported, she told another friend that she needed more than one door in her bedroom to avoid feeling trapped.

But Republicans have the toughest challenge in the Department of How It Looks. Democrats have demanded more time for scrutiny, and Republicans want to move ahead quickly with a confirmation vote in an increasingly volatile political climate ahead of congressional elections on November 6. Biden, who chaired the Thomas hearing and is considering running for president, said he regrets the way Hill was treated. They've offered to hear her in public or private.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has given Ford's attorneys a deadline of 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday to respond with their decision, a committee source confirmed to CNN.

But they're eager to avoid the spectacle of 11 Republican men cross-examining a woman who says she's been victimized by a man.


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