The US Senate Judiciary chairman has rejected key conditions that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaughâs 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 Kavanaughâs 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 âreasonable resolutionâ or his Republican-run panel would vote on sending Mr Kavanaughâs nomination to the full Senate.
âWe are unwilling to accommodate your unreasonable demands,â Mr Grassley wrote.
There was no immediate public response from Ms Fordâs lawyers.
That silence and Mr Grassleyâs 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 Fordâs lawyers a proposal earlier on Friday offering a Wednesday hearing â Ms Ford preferred Thursday â and said, âIt 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 nameâ.
Mr Grassley said he was rebuffing Ms Fordâs proposals that she testify after Mr Kavanaugh and that only senators, not outside counsel, be allowed to ask questions.
The committeeâs 11 Republicans â all men â 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.