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Grassley cancels meeting to advance nomination after hearing set for Kavanaugh and his accuser

CNBC logo CNBC 9/18/2018 Kevin Breuninger
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) © Provided by CNBC Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Tuesday canceled a crucial committee meeting where members were expected to hold a vote to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.
  • The announcement is a win for the committee's 10 Democrats, who called for a delay in Kavanaugh's proceedings following a bombshell allegation from Christine Blasey Ford made public over the weekend.
  • Ford, 51, accused President Donald Trump's second high court nominee of sexual assault in the 1980s when they were teenagers, a charge Kavanaugh denies.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Tuesday canceled a crucial committee meeting where members were expected to hold a vote to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

The meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET, was not immediately given a new date or time.

The announcement is a win for the committee's 10 Democrats, who called for a delay in Kavanaugh's proceedings following a bombshell allegation from Christine Blasey Ford made public over the weekend.

Kavanaugh's nomination, once viewed as having a relatively clear path toward confirmation in the GOP-controlled Senate, now faces allegations that could, at the very least, delay his nomination past the November midterm elections.

Ford, 51, accused President Donald Trump's second high court nominee of sexual assault in the 1980s when they were teenagers — a charge Kavanaugh denies.

Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh's at the time who Ford says participated in the alleged assault, said through a lawyer Tuesday that he has "no memory" of the incident and that he does "not wish to speak publicly" about it.

Kavanaugh, 53, on the other hand, has said he is willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, had also signaled her client's willingness to testify.

Grassley had originally proposed simply scheduling follow-up calls with Ford and Kavanaugh but later scheduled a public committee hearing after complaining that ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had refused to cooperate.

The committee minority now wants Republicans to call other witnesses, including Judge, to the hearing to testify under oath.

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