Another woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct

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Trump said he was "ok with that", but again defended Kavanaugh as a "gem".

The president dismissed the notion that the allegation could be disqualifying, saying sarcastically: "Oh, gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that".

She added that it was irresponsible to not demand the appearance and questioning of Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, who Blasey has said was present in the room when the alleged attack occurred. But three people she has named as witnesses have declared that they were not at any such party, including a lifelong friend, Leyland Kaiser.

The panel is scheduled to hold a hearing on Thursday on the accusations, ahead of a vote Friday on Kavanaugh's nomination.

Rachel Mitchell, from Arizona's Maricopa County Attorney's Office, is a highly experienced attorney with a 26-year history at the county alone, where she serves as the bureau chief of sex crimes.

Nothing on the calendar appears to mention Ford, who has said she was a "friendly acquaintance" of Kavanaugh's at the time.

In a statement, the judge said he did not know the accuser, Julie Swetnick, and her allegations "never happened". "And he has been treated very unfairly by the Democrats who are playing a con game". It is called the politics of destruction.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY retorted that if McConnell believed the allegations were a smear, "why don't you call for an FBI investigation?" Whereas if she reiterates her uncertainty, she'll be asked, "How can we trust an accusation if the accuser is admittedly uncertain?"

Gender also proved to be a factor in public support for Kavanaugh, the poll found. The controversy has unfolded ahead of the November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats seek to take control from the Republicans. Kavanaugh would have been 17 at the end of his junior year at Georgetown Prep. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

In a break from convention, the outside lawyer, whose name was not released, will question Ford and Kavanaugh on behalf of the committee's Republican senators, 11 white men.

Republicans have been hoping to win confirmation for Kavanaugh by early next week.

President Trump also defending his Supreme Court nominee and criticizing Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Kavanaugh's latest accuser, writing on Twitter, "Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh".

Republicans made a decision to hire a female attorney because of the risk that the panel's 11 Republican men - there are no GOP women on the committee - might say something insensitive to Ford. "And what will she be asking exactly when no investigation has been conducted into the allegations?" she said.

The attorney for one of the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct says the Senate Judiciary Committee has not invited her to tell her story. That is just horrific in this day and age. "I think I might have pushed it forward a lot faster", he said".

And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of NY, jabbed GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in unusually personal terms, saying he owed Ford an apology for labeling her allegations as a "smear job". "I believe he will be confirmed".

But despite laying the groundwork for a vote, Republican leaders still can not count on holding their majority.

Correction: September 26, 2018 12:00 am - An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Brett Kavanaugh spoke to Fox News on Tuesday.

At least four Republican senators, including two women who have been outspoken against sexual abuse, have withheld judgment, acknowledging the potential validity of Blasey Ford's allegation despite the amount of time that has passed and the paucity of hard evidence.