GOP governors want Senate to delay vote on Kavanaugh

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GOP governors want Senate to delay vote on Kavanaugh

The historic Senate hearing featuring dueling testimony from U.S. supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and university professor Dr Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, has arguably left Washington even more bitterly divided than it was before.

Trump's re-endorsement of Kavanaugh came seconds after the end of the day-long hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What followed will steer the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination, Ford's own life, and surely weigh on the political futures of perhaps dozens of political leaders and elected officials at the highest levels of government - in particular Republicans who have defended Kavanaugh in the face of Ford's allegations. When they do get to their questions, they're often aimed on letting Blasey Ford stress how deeply the alleged assault has been ingrained in her memory. The hearing was a rollercoaster of emotion, with Democrats taking every opportunity to praise Ford's courage in coming forward, while Mitchell delivered the tougher questioning, challenging her on a number of issues, including the circumstances surrounding her polygraph test and her fear of flying. "Just basic memory functions". She said her father was an alcoholic.

Kavanaugh, 53, has strenuously denied assaulting anyone and insists he is the victim of a "smear campaign".

Enter Graham, who said that if Democrats truly wanted an FBI investigation, they could have spoken up when Democratic Sen.

Blasey Ford said she managed to escape after Judge jumped on the bed, toppling the three on to the floor.

Then addressing the wavering Republican senators whose votes will determine this confirmation, Graham said, "To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you're legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics". Aides said they thought Kavanaugh was effectively fighting back and expressed optimism he could survive the process.

Still, even many Republicans who believed Ford was honestly recounting what happened to her took the view that it was a case of mistaken identity, believing Kavanaugh's emotional testimony that was not there and did not attack her. She said Kavanaugh and Judge locked the door, and Kavanaugh proceeded to climb on top of Ford and tried to remove her clothing.

The vote could still be postponed if Republicans believe pressing forward might backfire. Ford met with Eshoo's staff on July 11 and 13, she says, and told them she was afraid to go public with the accusations.

Thanks in large part to a disjointed format that featured five-minute segments alternating between veteran sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, a surrogate questioner for the Republicans, and Democratic senators, there was little flow to proceedings after Dr Ford's powerful opening.

Ms Ford will testify first at the hearing, which starts at 10am (3pm United Kingdom time) and at her request is being held in a small hearing room that seats only a few dozen spectators. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that her certainty was "100 percent". After being repeatedly asked about the circumstances of the polygraph test - when she took it, where she took it, who had recommended the tester - Ford's lawyers interjected to say that they had paid for the test, "as is routine". The committee is now comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, leaving the majority with little margin for error - if just one Republican breaks, the nomination will be left in limbo.

Even Mr Trump, who fiercely defends his nominee, said he would be watching and was "open to changing my mind". Manchin was among a handful of Democrats from red and purple states that Kavanaugh supporters were targeting as possible votes.

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