WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday stepped up his protection of his U.S. Supreme Court docket choose, saying it’s laborious to think about Brett Kavanaugh dedicated a sexual assault and that it could be unlucky if the nominee’s accuser doesn’t testify earlier than the Senate.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court docket nominee Choose Brett Kavanaugh listens throughout his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee affirmation listening to on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Picture

Trump made his remarks a day after attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor in California, mentioned she would testify earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee provided that the FBI first investigates her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when each had been highschool college students in Maryland.

The FBI has mentioned it isn’t investigating the matter. Ford’s demand solid doubt on whether or not a listening to deliberate by the committee for Monday to listen to testimony from Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegation, and Ford will happen.

The allegation has positioned the nomination of Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court docket decide, in peril. The Senate should verify nominees to lifetime posts of the highest U.S. court docket.

“Look, if she reveals up and makes a reputable displaying, that will likely be very fascinating and we’ll must decide. However I can solely say this: he’s such an excellent man – very laborious for me to think about that something occurred,” Trump advised reporters on the White Home.

The Republican president mentioned he wished the Senate affirmation course of to play out.

“If she reveals up, that might be fantastic. If she doesn’t present up, that might be unlucky,” Trump added.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court docket nominee decide Brett Kavanaugh speaks throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee affirmation listening to on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Picture

“I believe he’s a unprecedented man. I believe he’s a person of nice mind, as I’ve been telling you, and he had this unblemished report. It is a very robust factor for him and his household. And we need to get it over with,” Trump mentioned.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her and making an attempt to take away her clothes whereas he was drunk at a celebration in 1982 when he was 17 years previous and he or she was 15, an allegation Kavanaugh has referred to as “fully false.” Ford’s attorneys mentioned in a letter despatched on Tuesday to Senator Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman, that she has confronted “vicious harassment and even demise threats” since coming ahead on Sunday.

The accusations have roiled a affirmation course of that when appeared clean for Kavanaugh, who if confirmed may consolidate the conservative grip on the highest U.S. court docket.

The affirmation battle comes simply weeks earlier than Nov. 6 congressional elections wherein Democrats are searching for to win management of Congress from Trump’s fellow Republicans.

On the U.S. Capitol, Grassley mentioned he was making an attempt to get Ford to testify by Monday, publicly or privately. He didn’t reply questions on letting the FBI examine.

“I’m concentrating on doing all the things I can to verify Dr. Ford is comfy to testify,” Grassley advised reporters. “We’ve got to make plans for her to return and that’s what I’m concentrating on.”

‘FINDING THE TRUTH’

Republican panel member Lindsey Graham mentioned on Twitter that requiring an FBI investigation of a 36-year-old allegation “will not be about discovering the reality, however delaying the method until after the midterm elections.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump solutions a query concerning the nomination of Choose Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court docket and allegations of sexual assault in opposition to Kavanaugh throughout a joint information convention with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda within the East Room of the White Home in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In a press release on Tuesday Grassley had mentioned, “Nothing the FBI or another investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there isn’t any motive for any additional delay.”

The Justice Division has mentioned that the FBI despatched the preliminary letter Ford wrote making the allegation in opposition to Kavanaugh to the White Home and considers its function within the matter to be full.

Democrats have mentioned the White Home can order a extra detailed FBI investigation, as occurred in 1991 throughout the affirmation course of for Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas after he was accused of sexual harassment. Republicans have mentioned the FBI can be doing nothing greater than what committee staffers may obtain by interviewing Kavanaugh and Ford.

A Reuters/Ipsos ballot launched on Wednesday confirmed a rising variety of People opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination. Within the ballot, performed from Sept. 11-17, 36 % of U.S. adults surveyed didn’t need Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court docket, up 6 proportion factors from an analogous ballot a month earlier, whereas 31 % favored Kavanaugh’s appointment.

CNN reported {that a} former classmate of Kavanaugh denied attending the highschool celebration the place the nominee is accused of assaulting Ford.

Patrick J. Smyth despatched a letter to Grassley and high committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein wherein he denied seeing any “improper conduct” by Kavanaugh, a classmate at Georgetown Preparatory Faculty, in keeping with CNN, which obtained a replica of the letter.

“I perceive that I’ve been recognized by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford because the individual she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was current on the celebration she described in her statements to the Washington Publish,” Smyth mentioned in his letter, CNN reported.

“I’m issuing this assertion immediately to make it clear to all concerned that I’ve no information of the celebration in query; nor do I’ve any information of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh.”

Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Doina Chiacu and Lawrence Hurley; Enhancing by Will Dunham

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