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The American Bar Association - the legal profession's largest group - is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone Friday's initial vote on Brett Kavanaugh until an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe is conducted on the sexual-assault allegations facing the Supreme Court nominee.

Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have yet to say how they'll vote after expressing concerns about the accusations that emerged over the past week.

Blumenthal called the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford "powerful" and "credible".

"Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist", Trump said.

But Kavanaugh's fate rests mostly with Republicans in the Senate.

"We're listening and watching like everybody else", said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the hearing was still going on.

Mitchell, a registered Republican, stood in for the all-male GOP senators on the committee, who did not question Ford.

Mr Kavanaugh has steadfastly denied all the allegations.

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee released a document detailing their investigative work that showed they had interviewed two separate men who said they believed that they, not Judge Kavanaugh, assaulted Ford. Ford cried again when Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey called her "heroic".

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.: "You've never forgotten that laughter". Ford's attorney Debra Katz said her client considers the alleged incident to be an "attempted rape".

In an election-season battle that is being waged along a polarised nation's political and cultural fault lines, Mr Trump and most Republicans have rallied behind Mr Kavanaugh.

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The Judiciary Committee decided after the hearing to adhere to a previous plan of voting on the nomination Friday morning, allowing the Senate to enter procedural votes as early as Saturday.

During the hearing Brett Kavanaugh thanked Donald Trump for his steadfast support.

President Donald Trump, who is in NY attending the annual UN General Assembly session, came out in support of his Supreme Court nominee and slammed Avenatti. The hearing was a rollercoaster of emotion, with Democrats taking every opportunity to praise Ford's courage in coming forward, while Mitchell delivered the tougher questioning, challenging her on a number of issues, including the circumstances surrounding her polygraph test and her fear of flying.

Christine Blasey Ford held back tears while she explained how Kavanaugh allegedly held her down on a bed and tried to remove her clothes.

But Trump felt Kavanaugh didn't come across as forceful enough, and the President urged him to take a more aggressive stance during his testimony.

On his way to the committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, Flake was confronted by a woman who said she was the victim of sexual assault.

Kavanaugh was nominated by Trump and his confirmation would cement conservative control of the USA supreme court with disputes over abortion rights, immigration, gay rights, voting rights and transgender troops possibly heading toward the justices soon.

"Has anyone come forward to say to you, "Hey, remember, I was the one that drove you home"?"

Ford: "They were laughing with each other".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was forthright in his assessment of proceedings.


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