Christine Blasey Ford remembers "uproarious laughter" of alleged attackers

Just moments after announcing he planned to vote for Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination Friday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake was confronted by two women in an elevator who said they survived sexual assaults. Both told their stories to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a almost nine-hour-long hearing. He said Kavanaugh has the potential of becoming one of America's "greatest" and cast doubt on Ford's allegations and said they were part of a plan to ruin Kavanaugh's candidacy.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee could be the deciding vote on several contentious cases if he is confirmed, with disputes involving abortion, immigration, gay rights, voting rights and transgender troops possibly heading toward the justices soon.

He added: "It's possible that I'll hear that and I'll say I'm changing my mind".

Joe Manchin. Also up for re-election in the pro-Trump state of West Virginia, he met with Republicans late Thursday.

Her account, delivered in a soft and sometimes-halting voice, came as the judiciary panel began an extraordinary session that Republicans hope will let them salvage Mr Kavanaugh's chances of joining the high court.

A high court appointment, the association's president, Robert Carlson, said in a letter "is simply too important to rush a vote".

The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.), refused to subpoena Mark Judge, whom Christine Blasey Ford has identified as a witness to the sexual assault she said was carried out against her by Kavanaugh.

Republicans voted to move ahead with Kavanaugh's nomination.

"We made a decision to vote at 1:30".

I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.
But I have never done this. He presented the senators with what he said were handwritten calendars from 1982 showing his activities and whereabouts. "They are pushing through this process", said Sen.

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The alleged incident, she said, had had an impact for the rest of her life.

Kavanaugh admitted a love for drinking beer, but he also pointed to what he says were his outstanding academic record and dedication to high school sports and church.

She told the committee she feared Kavanaugh would rape and accidentally kill her during the alleged assault: "Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes".

The hearing will be the first time the world sees and hears from Ms Ford beyond the grainy photo that has appeared in the media in the 10 days since she came forward with her claims. "I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes". Kavanaugh has denied all accusations.

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate only if the Federal Bureau of Investigation were to investigate the allegations against the judge.

But it was Kavanaugh who Jalon Alexander, a 25-year-old Democrat and law student at the University of Pittsburgh, did not find credible.

The FBI, as Grassley and Kavanaugh pointed out in Thursday's hearing, wouldn't make any independent findings about the substance of the claims.

With files from Justin Sink and Jennifer Jacobs and the New York Times. "His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting", he tweeted. "Democrats" search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. "There should be no vote in the Senate".

"This isn't easy for anybody", Flake told reporters after the testimony on Thursday.

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