'This woman will be heard' - White House adviser on Kavanaugh accuser

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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has already said that to push through a vote on Thursday would be an "insult" to American women. The letter described what she said was Kavanaugh's sudden and brutal assault on her at a high school party in "the early 1980s". "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation".

Ford did not tell anyone about the incident until she was in couple's therapy in 2012. She said she often spent time in the summer at the Columbia Country Club pool in Chevy Chase, where in those pre-cellphone days, teenagers learned about gatherings via word of mouth.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation, saying in a statement: "I did not do this back in high school or at any time". "Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement".

Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, told the Post on Sunday that Ford "must be heard" and urged the panel not to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination until it can hear from her.

The White House, meanwhile, is issuing a fresh denial on the allegations against Kavanaugh.

Also this morning, Ford's lawyer tells CNN she is willing to testify publicly before the Senate. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school. Unsuccessful at obtaining an interview with Ford, the TV crews started going door to door. She broke away and ran from the room when Judge jumped on top of them. Frankly, that's what I would have expected them to say.

Ford also told the Post the event likely contributed to the now-51-year-old's anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Does she consider this an attempted rape?" asked Today host Savanah Guthrie.

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Hill said in a statement to Politico, "The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly hard to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power". However, the woman in question made it clear she did not want this information to be public.

Ford claimed that a "stumbling drunk" Kavanaugh pinned her to the bed, groping her and trying to remove her clothing, while a friend of his watched.

"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", she said.

Part of the notes say that Ford told the therapist four boys were involved in the alleged attack, according to the Post, but Ford said this was written in error. She knew Kavanaugh and a friend, Mark Judge, who went to the nearby all-boys Georgetown Prep.

The Arizona senator is not the only Republican to voice concerns over Mr Kavanaugh's appointment being pushed through at speed, in light of the allegations. "A vote on Kavanaugh's nomination must be delayed until there is a thorough investigation", Sen.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination on Thursday. A positive vote would set up a debate following by a vote in the full Senate.

Shortly after Feinstein's statement was released, White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec criticized the timing. "I did not do this back in high school or at any time", he said when the story first broke.

Republicans have just an 11-10 majority on the committee, so Flake's vote could make a difference.