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The Latest: McConnell says Kavanaugh nomination moving ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) β€” The Latest on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):

10:27 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. McConnell says a woman’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago is “completely at variance” with everything else known about his past. The Kentucky Republican says the Senate’s push to confirm Kavanaugh will move forward.

McConnell accused Democrats of “blatant malpractice” by waiting weeks to disclose the letter Christine Blasey Ford had sent lawmakers describing the alleged incident. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who had the letter, said she didn’t reveal it to protect Ford’s confidentiality.

McConnell says Ford’s allegation “stands at odds with every other piece of the overwhelmingly positive testimony we’ve received” about Kavanaugh.

Ford says Kavanaugh forced her into a room and tried undressing her during a party when both were in high school. Kavanaugh denies those allegations.

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1:14 a.m.

Republicans are forging ahead with plans for a Senate hearing they had wanted to avoid on a woman’s claims that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were high schoolers.

They’re hoping their new strategy will salvage Kavanaugh’s endangered nomination with a risky, nationally televised showdown between the appeals court judge and his accuser.

Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from the 53-year-old Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

Their sworn testimony, certain to be conflicting and emotive, will offer a campaign-season test of the political potency of a #MeToo movement that has already toppled prominent men from entertainment, government and journalism.




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