Trump urges Senate to vote after Kavanaugh's fierce defence

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Regardless of whether Kavanaugh actually assaulted Ford, Pollitt Hill said, the public scrutiny of Ford is likely to discourage some survivors from coming forward. Wherever they were, though, it seemed most responded through the prism of their political bents and personal experiences.

-Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey.

The meeting of four key senators occurred less than hour after Kavanaugh finished his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, where he forcefully and passionately maintained his innocence and defiantly challenged Democratic senators who grilled him on multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, fueled impeachment talk when he said last week that Democrats would investigate the allegations against Mr. Kavanaugh even if he is a sitting justice on the Supreme Court.

"You're telling all women that they don't matter", the woman told Flake in an emotional confrontation.

But Connie Cook Saunders, a 52-year-old fitness director for a San Diego athletic club who considers herself a moderate Republican, wasn't convinced by Ford's appearance.

"I strongly object. This is just totally ridiculous". Although her memory had significant gaps, she has clearly experienced some trauma. "Take whatever time you need".

In fact, more than a dozen women came forward during the 2016 campaign, claiming they were assaulted, groped or kissed without consent by Mr Trump.

Later Thursday, Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend whom Ford identified as being present during the assault, issued a statement saying, "Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school, but we have not spoken directly in several years".

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When Kavanaugh took the stand, he gave a passionate, vehement, and sometimes angry denial of the allegations, sparring with senators and accusing Democratic forces of concocting a plot to tank his nomination. "This judiciary committee is no longer an independent branch of government", said Vermont Sen.

Kavanaugh has vehemently and repeatedly denied all the allegations against him, including those of Ford and Swetnick.

"I want to thank you for your courage".

His supporters focused on what Ford could not remember. Some White House officials were not pleased with the questioning from Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, saying she did not effectively target the weak spots in Ford's narrative and worrying that the Democrats had seized the moment.

"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter".

"On the eve of another hearing where a U.S. Supreme Court nominee is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, she told a packed University of Utah audience at a preplanned lecture that the #MeToo movement has the opportunity to create long-term solutions". "You know who was in the room, you also remember every single detail".

Mr Judge has said he does not remember the alleged incident and has declined to appear before the panel. "What makes him so special that we're willing to undermine the integrity and legitimacy of the court?" One of the anonymous claims was recanted ahead of the hearing.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker made the comments as Professor Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her. She is now a central figure in America's reckoning with sexual assault. "Cmte rules normally require 3 days notice so we're following regular order", Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said.

Many of the Americans who remembered the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 found themselves comparing the treatment of accuser Anita Hill and Ford.