FILE -In this April 26, 2004, file photo, Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.

AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File

Kavanaugh again denies woman's assault claim, public hearing set for Monday

September 17, 2018 - 12:22 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate panel has set a public hearing for next Monday with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sex assault

Kavanaugh had said Monday he was willing to speak to a Senate panel to "refute" an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman while in high school, after his accuser said via her attorney that she was ready to testify in public.

In a statement released through the White House, Kavanaugh said, "This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity."

Kavanaugh was spotted visiting the White House shortly after his statement was released.

"A lawyer for a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school says her client is willing to tell her story publicly to the Senate panel considering his nomination. She says the woman considers Kavanaugh's actions ``attempted rape.''

Debra Katz represents Christine Blasey Ford, who tells The Washington Post a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Katz told NBC's "Today'' show she "clearly considers this an attempted rape.''

Katz tells ABC's "Good Morning America'' the accuser is "willing to cooperate'' with investigators and the Senate Judiciary Committee. She says Ford, a Democrat, isn't politically motivated.

The Republican-controlled Senate panel appears committed to a vote on Kavanaugh this week,  but all 10 Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats want that panel's Republican chairman to postpone this week's planned committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The Democrats have written Iowa GOP Sen. Charles Grassley saying delaying Thursday's hearing would give the FBI time to investigate allegations by a woman who says a drunk Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when both were in high school in the early 1980s.

The letter says there are serious questions about Kavanaugh's "record, truthfulness and character.''

Grassley hasn't indicated he'd delay the committee vote.