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"The question of integrity and character and fitness", said Berenzweig.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, on Tuesday said the FBI should investigate before further hearings into the claims.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's treatment of a more than 3-decade-old sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was unfair all around.

Democrats are demanding that the FBI be given time to reopen its background investigation into Kavanaugh so it can check Ford's assertions. "I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities", Feinstein said. "We have a woman that has come forward, she deserves to be heard, it's important that her voice and story is shared and determinations will be made at that point". Other people at the party could testify about whether the party was similar to how Ford described it and whether Kavanaugh was there. "So it kind of raises the question.do they want to come to (the) publichearing or not?"

Ford also alleges that a friend of Kavanaugh's, Mark Judge, was a participant in the incident.

"I have no memory of this alleged incident". Feinstein, who received a letter from Ford in July, has been criticized for not going public with it earlier.

Meanwhile, a Republican US Senate committee chairman has said that Ms Ford has not yet agreed to appear at apublic hearing set for next Monday. This will limit the committee's ability to publicly assess other corroborating evidence and more accurately weigh whether Ford's telling the truth.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL, the No. 2 Democrat, said Judge is needed "specifically and personally as an eyewitness to the occurrence".

Republican Senator Susan Collins, considered a key potential swing vote, tweeted that both should testify under oath.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Sept. 4 2018 in Washington D.C
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Earlier on Monday, Republican leaders displayed no willingness to delay a Judiciary panel vote that Grassley had planned for this Thursday to advance the nomination. They can oppose the nominee without appearing to voters as if they are defying the president, strategists said. It will offer a campaign season test of the political potency of a #MeToo movement that has already toppled prominent men from entertainment, government and journalism, and energized female voters and political candidates. Grassley said during an interview with Salem Radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday morning. He added later, "You're raising legitimate questions that are still in my mind".

"Our staff reached out to Dr. Ford's lawyer with multiple emails yesterday to schedule a similar call and inform her of the upcoming hearing, where she will have the opportunity to share her story with the Committee".

Days before he was expected to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, Brett M. Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault in high school in a way that echoes Hill's allegations against Thomas in 1991.

"It's pretty obvious this is all about delaying the process, but the accuser has a right to be heard", he said.

Ford alleged, first in a letter, then in an article to The Washington Post on Sunday, that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party in high school. The person described Kavanaugh as "resolute" and eager to defend himself.

One supporter of Kavanaugh also pushed back on some reporting that the White House or Republicans would deploy any aggressive attack, calling it "infuriating". Her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are credible and must be investigated.

On Sunday, the White House sent The Washington Post a statement issued by Kavanaugh that said, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation".

U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, who is running against Heitkamp in North Dakota, said in a statement that he found it "hard not to be skeptical considering the timing and history of the allegations", according to the Grand Forks Herald.

"The Judiciary Committee should not vote on his nomination this week".