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Grassley says Kavanaugh hearing will go on amid latest allegation

Grassley says Kavanaugh hearing will go on amid latest allegation
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyClinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees MORE (R-Iowa) on Wednesday said that a planned hearing where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman accusing him of sexual assault are expected to testify will go forward on Thursday as Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from a third woman. 

"I feel like I have a definite responsibility to hold a hearing, not only for (Blasey Ford) but for Judge Kavanaugh," Grassley told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday. 

The high-profile Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, with Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his first public accuser, scheduled to speak. 

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a party in the early 1980s and tried to remove her clothing. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. 

Republicans have hired an outside counsel to ask questions. Grassley, the committee's chairman, separately told reporters that he wasn't sure if that meant Republican senators wouldn't also ask questions.

There had been no indication from Republicans that they would call off the hearing after lawyer Michael Avenatti revealed allegations from a third accuser against Kavanaugh on Wednesday. 

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 (R-Texas) told reporters that a committee vote on Friday on Kavanaugh's nomination was "the goal."  

The plan to push forward with the hearing comes despite Avenatti's release of the identity of a client who is accusing Kavanaugh of being present for a “gang rape” where she was a victim.   

Avenatti, who also represents adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuits against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE, tweeted out a sworn declaration from Julie Swetnick in which she declares she met Kavanaugh in “approximately 1980-1981” and attended several house parties at which Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were also present. 

The Judiciary Committee is reviewing the allegation.