Democrats will use Monday's hearing as a political spectacle to coax Mr. Kavanaugh into looking defensive or angry, and to portray Republicans as anti-women. The delay makes it increasingly hard for Kavanaugh to win approval by October 1, when the new session of the Supreme Court begins.
Democratic senators had urged Grassley to invite Judge to testify. "I know - I can tell you this - that Judge Kavanaugh is anxious to do it".
Prof Ford's legal team say they have written to Senate Judiciary Committee declining its offer to testify.
Democrats have called for a full FBI investigation of the allegations, however, saying the Monday hearing will be too soon. Thursday's vote will not occur. But President Donald Trump telegraphed earlier Monday that that schedule might slow.
If the Judiciary committee's timetable slips, it would become increasingly hard for Republicans to schedule a vote before midterm elections on November 6 elections, when congressional control will be at stake.
There are three Democrats who voted for Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who would allow Republicans to lose a few votes on Kavanaugh if they back him.
There are no Republican women on the Senate Judiciary Committee but they're still in the spotlight because of the nature of the allegations. Most importantly, though, she must tell the truth.
There was enormous pressure on GOP Sens.
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Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Senate Republicans followed Kavanaugh's denial by releasing a letter from 65 women who say they knew Kavanaugh in high school and attested that "he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect". Feinstein acknowledged her knowledge of the accusation last week but kept Ford's identity private until the Sunday Post article. Neither Collins nor Murkowski faces re-election this fall. They want additional witnesses beyond Kavanaugh and Ford to be added to the planned hearing Monday. Their strategy appears to be centred on keeping the hearing to a limited "he said-she said" standoff that might embarrass, but not sink the nominee.
Another Democrat on the panel, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, said staging the hearing without the FBI investigation would make it a "sham".
Before the allegations surfaced, neither had said which way they'd vote on Kavanaugh, but both had raved about his qualifications. "The FBI does not do investigations like this".
Feinstein, a California Democrat, took the worst possible course by waiting until nearly a week after Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing was completed to ominously announce that she had turned over "information from an individual" about Kavanaugh to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and adding that she would be honoring the woman's "strongly requested" confidentiality.
"If Republicans attack Dr. Ford and this turns into anything like what we saw in 1991, women across the country are going to rise up and make their voice heard and Republicans will pay a very huge price", Murray said. Debra S. Katz, Ford's attorney, said on NBC's "Today" that Ford was ready to testify publicly to the Judiciary panel, but she did not respond Monday evening to efforts to learn whether she would appear.
Trump, who has shrugged off allegations about his own sexual improprieties, told a White House press conference that Kavanaugh has an "impeccable history in every way" and "has gone beautifully up the ladder".
"While Dr. Ford's life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident", the letter reads. Kavanaugh, who has denied the assault allegation, met with officials at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day.
Monday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will be the ultimate test of whether the #MeToo movement has really changed the way Washington deals with sexual misconduct charges, when a Supreme Court seat is at stake. Trump said he felt "terribly" for Kavanaugh Tuesday, predicting that the judge would be exonerated. Sen. The president himself has faced accusations of affairs and unwanted advances - not to mention his taped comments about groping women that emerged shortly before he was elected in 2016.
Limiting the hearing to just Kavanaugh and Ford would be "inadequate, unfair, wrong and a desire not to get at the whole truth", Schumer said.