WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers were set to decide on President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court on Thursday; however, sexual assault accusations pushed Judge Brett Kavanaugh's hearing back to Monday.
- Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanagh of sexual assault
- Ford says she has received death threats since speaking out
- Kavanagh denies allegations; friends defend both Ford, Kavanagh
- RELATED: GOP forges ahead with hearing amid Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations
Lawmakers had hoped to hear from both the nominee and the woman accusing him of sexual assault decades ago. As of now, that will not be happening either.
Christine Blasey Ford said that she would not testify next week, unless there is a proper FBI investigation first.
"There hasn't been an investigation and these are serious allegations. So if the senators who have come forward and said they want to treat this seriously mean that, then they'll have an investigation of these allegations so that we all go into this more informed," said Ford's attorney, Lisa Banks.
Ford said Kavanaugh and a friend — both "stumbling drunk," she says — corralled her in a bedroom at a Maryland party in the early 1980s when she was around 15 and Kavanaugh was around 17. She says Kavanaugh groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers and tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and the outfit she wore over it. Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream, she says, and she escaped when the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them.
Ford and her attorney sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying the woman, now a research psychologist in northern California, has received death threats and been harassed since coming forward with the allegations.
While she does not plan to testify, Ford's friends are coming to her defense, saying she does not have a political agenda.
"She has nothing to gain from this except a clear conscience, which is a very powerful thing," said Samantha Guerry.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and, too, has longtime friends coming to his defense.
"I think she must have had some sort of a horrible situation. But, I do not feel that she's accurate that it could have been Brett Kavanaugh. I am friends, I've been friends with him for years," said Meghan McCaleb.
"Hopefully the woman will come forward state her case he will state his case before representatives of the United States Senate and then they will vote they will look at his career. They will look at what she had to say from 36 years ago. And we will see what happens," Trump said.
Yet, many are drawing parallels between this situation and another stemming back to 1991.
Professor Anita Hill accused then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of workplace sexual harassment, leading to last-minute hearings.
Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which sit some of the same members today.
In the end, Thomas was confirmed; he is currently the most senior justice on the court.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, some have pointed out that the committee still lacks protocol for vetting sexual assault and harassment claims that crop up during confirmation hearings.
Replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat is significant, as decisions the Supreme Court makes have a huge impact on U.S. political life: What justices decide is then interpreted by lower courts, translated into local laws and ordinances.
In addition, justices serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.