Protesters confront Flake after he announces Kavanaugh vote

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She has said that she believes it is important to listen to both Ford and Kavanaugh before making up her mind about whether to confirm Kavanaugh. She said it was her attackers' laughs.

Collins has said she believes that Ford and Deborah Ramirez, Ford's second accuser, should be heard by the Senate before there's a vote. "Don't look away from me", she said. Jeff Flake of Arizona says it's a "tough call" on whether to support Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court after his dramatic testimony on a sexual assault accusation.

Asked how he will vote, Flake said, "Let me process it". The hearing was a rollercoaster of emotion, with Democrats taking every opportunity to praise Ford's courage in coming forward, while Mitchell delivered the tougher questioning, challenging her on a number of issues, including the circumstances surrounding her polygraph test and her fear of flying.

When asked by the media if the nomination come to the full Senate floor for a vote, Grassley responded "Depends on what happens tomorrow". He accused Democrats of an "unethical sham" and warning Republicans that if they vote not to confirm Kavanaugh, they would legitimize "the most despicable thing I've ever seen in my time in politics".

RAINN, a group that provides a support hot line for victims of sexual assault and crimes, said it saw a 147 percent increase above the normal volume of people reaching out for help.

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"There is no question that Judge Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and in a different political environment, he would be confirmed overwhelmingly", Sen.

In another statement, Patrick J. Smyth, identified by Ford as being among those downstairs at the party, says "I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh'".

Ford said that was the case with her alleged attack. "You're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you're going to ignore them", she said. The formal vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation will likely take place early next week.

Heitkamp also voted Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court last year and faces an uphill election in her home state this year. McGahn, who is set to depart his post in coming weeks, had advocated for Kavanaugh, seeing his confirmation as the crowning achievement of his tenure - and part of a decades-long effort to install more conservatives on the high court.

The bitter fight over Kavanaugh's nomination is unfolding just weeks before the November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to seize majority control of Congress from the Republicans.

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