Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley repeatedly declined to answer questions Thursday night from reporters as he repeatedly said, "we're meeting at 9:30" - a reference to the committee meeting where the panel is scheduled to vote on whether to give Kavanaugh a favorable recommendation.
Swetnick says that while they were teenagers, she went to several parties during which teens were plied with drugs and alcohol and raped by a "train" of boys who would line up for the attacks. If they were to agree to do so, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would likely focus on elements of Ford's testimony that the Judiciary Committee skimmed over, such as the testimony of Mark Judge. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Democratic Sen. In her account, she was on her way to use the bathroom when she was suddenly shoved into a bedroom, where a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her to the bed, groped her, tried to remove her clothing, and clamped a hand over her mouth, preventing her from screaming and making her fear he would inadvertently kill her.
Democrats said Kavanaugh's confirmation could taint the Supreme Court, which prides itself on staying above the political fray. Hours later, Kavanaugh angrily denied it, alternating a loud, defiant tone with near tears as he addressed the Senate Judiciary Committee. Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, came forward in the days following Ford's accusation.
Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, called Wednesday on the House Judiciary Committee to begin an investigation "to see if he should be impeached", a scenario that becomes far more likely if the Democrats take the House in November. Joe Manchin said he supported Flake's call to push off a full Senate vote until the FBI investigates Ford's allegation.
"Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation", he said on Twitter.
China tensions spilling over into the military arena
Beijing sees Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting unification, and is deeply suspicious of the island's relations with the US. In May, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis disinvited China from participating in a multinational naval exercise in the Pacific.
Thursday's hearing comes as two other named individuals have levied allegations against Kavanaugh.
The Chicago-based American Bar Association, the largest national organization of lawyers and among the most influential, is asking the Senate to put the brakes on confirming controversial Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
On Friday morning, he announced that he would support Mr Kavanaugh's nomination.
"I can always be convinced" Trump said, "It's possible I'll hear [the allegations] and I'll say, I'm changing my mind!"
Murkowski says she wants to make sure senators "do our due diligence". In her gripping testimony, Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge's laughter during the incident has stuck with her almost four decades later.
After recounting what she remembered of the alleged assault, Sen.
Ms Ford has emerged in the eyes of many American women as a compelling figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.