This isn't the smooth path to confirmation Republicans were hoping for: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her in high school, will both testify in a public hearing before the Senate on Monday. Plans for a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination are now on hold, reports the Washington Post, which predicts that a "potentially dramatic and politically perilous hearing" will determine the fate of the nomination. The White House said in a statement that Kavanaugh "looks forward to a hearing where he can clear his name of this false allegation."
Friends in Palo Alto, Calif., tell the San Jose Mercury News that Ford, who had confided in them that she had been assaulted by somebody who is now a federal judge, struggled with the decision to come forward, fearing it would bring attacks and intense scrutiny. Jim Gensheimer recalls her telling him: "I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail." Rebecca White says Ford is the right person to deal with "grueling questions" at the hearing. "She's one of those people who teems with honesty and truth," White says. Sources tell Politico that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains 100% behind Kavanaugh—but Republicans will try to push through another nominee quickly if Kavanaugh's nomination fails. (Read more Christine Blasey Ford stories.)