Republicans to Kavanaugh accuser: Reach deal or panel votes on Monday

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The US Senate Judiciary chairman has rejected key conditions that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser wants if she is to testify about her claim of sexual assault.

Senator Chuck Grassley said his panel would vote on Monday on Mr Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination without an agreement.

Mr Grassley said he was giving lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford until 10pm on Friday to come to a “reasonable resolution” or his Republican-run panel would vote on sending Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.

“We are unwilling to accommodate your unreasonable demands,” Mr Grassley wrote.

There was no immediate public response from Ms Ford’s lawyers.

That silence and Mr Grassley’s offer, which did not rule out further compromise, left uncertain whether Ms Ford would appear and tell politicians about her allegation that an inebriated Mr Kavanaugh trapped her on a bed and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

Mr Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has repeatedly denied the accusation.

Mr Grassley sent Ms Ford’s lawyers a proposal earlier on Friday offering a Wednesday hearing – Ms Ford preferred Thursday – and said, “It is not fair to him or to his family to allow this situation to continue without a resolution and without an opportunity for him to clear his name”.

Mr Grassley said he was rebuffing Ms Ford’s proposals that she testify after Mr Kavanaugh and that only senators, not outside counsel, be allowed to ask questions.

The committee’s 11 Republicans – all men – have been seeking an outside female lawyer to interrogate Ms Ford.

He also refused to call additional witnesses. Ms Ford wants an appearance by Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ms Ford asserts was at the high school party and in the bedroom where the alleged assault occurred.

Mr Grassley said he had consented to several other demands, including that Ms Ford be provided security and that Mr Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies.

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