WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is opening a hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with an apology to both Kavanaugh and his accuser for the way they’ve been treated, saying they and their families have received “vile threats.”
The Iowa Republican promised a “safe, comfortable and dignified” atmosphere Thursday as his committee hears from both.
Grassley also said it had been a “terrible couple of weeks” for both Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who accuses Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when they were teens.
The committee is expected to hear hours of testimony Thursday. Ford will testify first. Kavanaugh is scheduled to testify later in the day.
With the high-stakes hearing for his Supreme Court nominee underway, President Donald Trump is meeting with diplomats at the United Nations.
Trump was scheduled to meet with staff as he concludes his trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly.
Trump plans to return to Washington later Thursday morning. He has said he will be watching the hearing and has said he could be convinced to change his mind on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, though he has continued to strongly defend him.
Kavanaugh faces accusations of sexual misconduct, which he has strongly denied. He and his chief accuser will both appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has gaveled into session Thursday’s dramatic hearing with Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford, in prepared remarks submitted to the committee, alleges that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes when they were teens. Kavanaugh, in his prepared testimony, says he’s never done anything “remotely resembling” what Ford describes.
Grassley and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will deliver opening statements at the start of the hearing. Then Ford will be sworn in as a witness and deliver her opening statement. Kavanaugh will testify later, after her session is over.
The 11 Republican and 10 Democratic members of the panel will have five minutes each to question Ford and Kavanaugh in alternating turns.
Republicans have hired an outside attorney, Phoenix prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, to handle much of their questioning.