Senate Republicans and Democrats have locked heads after Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were high school students, told her story publicly for the first time. In an article published in the Washington Poston Sunday, Ford said she felt it was her civic duty to tell her story.
According to the Post, Ford is now a professor at Palo Alto University who teaches in a consortium with Stanford University, training graduate students in clinical psychology.
The two, as well as several other friends, began drinking, although she said Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, had started earlier than the group.
Kavanaugh and Judge both denied Ford's allegations before her identity was made public and declined to comment to the Post about the incident after Ford came forward. He said the committee's top Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who was first notified of the allegation in late July, should have brought the matter to the panel earlier. She said she believed the attack occurred in 1982. A polygraph text conducted by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent confirmed that she was telling the truth.
Ford had contacted the Post through a tip line in early July after it had become clear that Kavanaugh was on Trump's shortlist to fill a vacancy but before the Republican president nominated him, the newspaper said.
The confirmation battle over the Kavanaugh nomination might well come down to what Sens. She escaped when Kavanaugh's friend jumped on them and everyone tumbled, she says.
Until now, Kavanaugh has been widely viewed as on a glide path toward confirmation, and it is unclear whether Ford's account will change that.
Feinstein issued a statement on Sunday afternoon in support of Ford and calling for the FBI to investigate the matter before the Senate advances Kavanaugh's nomination.
So far no Democrats have indicated support for Kavanaugh's nomination - including vulnerable red state Sens. "I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was", said the 85-year-old jurist. "Sixty-five senators met individually with Judge Kavanaugh during a almost two-month period before the hearing began, yet Feinstein didn't share this with her colleagues ahead of many of those discussions". There is a way back to the better times of which Ginsburg spoke, though it will require great courage and character - to confirm the highly qualified Kavanaugh with a bipartisan vote. The notes also say four boys attacked her - but Ford insists this was the therapist's mistake.
In response to initial reports of the letter, 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school signed a letter testifying to his positive treatment of women. 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.
She said she had grappled with her sense of duty for weeks over whether to come forward and identify herself, aware she may face a backlash and was unlikely to derail his nomination, which was expected to be confirmed this week.
A spokesperson for Senator Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman, said he was "actively working" to set up bipartisan calls to Mr Kavanaugh and his accuser, Mrs Ford, as a result of the allegations.
Ford said she never told anyone about the attack until 2012, when she was in couple's therapy with her husband.
Now Ford has told The Washington Post she had made a decision to waive her anonymity because she felt her "civic responsibility" was "outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation" after the basic outlines of the story emerged in media last week.