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GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford

GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford
© Greg Nash
Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are weighing bringing in an outside lawyer to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault.
 
Senators have invited both Kavanaugh and Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford to testify during a high-stakes hearing next week as the panel reviews the newly revealed allegations.
 
"There's been some discussion there ... but I'm not going to get out in front of the chairman," GOP Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump defends 0B US arms sale to Saudi Arabia Florida politics play into disaster relief debate O’Rourke faces pivotal point in Texas battle with Cruz MORE (Texas) said when asked about the potential of using an outside counsel.
 
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Spokespeople for Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request MORE (R-Iowa) didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about if a decision had been made on using an outside lawyer.
 
The GOP senator had told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier on Tuesday that such an option was under consideration.
 
"I would say that everything should be considered now. And all those things are being taken into consideration," Grassley said.
 
 
Republicans are weighing the best approach to questioning Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her down, groping her and trying to take off her clothes during a party in the early 1980s when both were in high school.
 
The Judiciary panel doesn't include any female GOP members, and the optics of 11 male Republican senators asking Ford questions should she decide to testify has drawn comparisons to the 1991 Anita Hill hearings, when every member of the Judiciary Committee was male.
 
Cornyn dismissed a question about the optics on Tuesday, telling reporters they should "think for yourselves."
 
In addition to bringing in an outside counsel, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins'Suspicious letter' mailed to Maine home of Susan Collins The Kavanaugh debate was destructive tribalism on steroids: Here’s how we can stop it from happening again Conservative group launches ad campaign thanking Collins after Kavanaugh vote MORE (R-Maine) pitched the Judiciary Committee on letting a lawyer for Kavanaugh question Ford and letting a lawyer for Ford question Kavanaugh.
 
Cornyn, asked about the idea, said it was "one that we're working with."
 
"I think we're all trying to find a consensus position on how this can be handled fairly and that certainly is one that we're working with," he said.