The Latest: Grassley sends new offer to Kavanaugh accuser

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her decades ago (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is offering in a letter to lawyers for Brett Kavanaugh's accuser to have his panel's investigators interview her wherever she wants.

That includes having aides interview Christine Blasey Ford in California, where she lives, according to a person speaking anonymously because they weren't authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

Chairman Chuck Grassley is also setting deadlines. His letter to Ford's lawyers says his committee's hearing on her allegations of sexual abuse will begin Monday morning. He says if she intends to testify, she must submit written testimony by Friday morning.

Ford has said she wants the FBI to investigate her accusation before she would testify.

Grassley writes that his panel "cannot commandeer an Executive Branch agency" and ask them to do more work.

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12:10 p.m.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley says the FBI does not need to look into the sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because Republicans are conducting their own investigation.

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Brett Kavanaugh through the years
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Brett Kavanaugh through the years
WASHINGTON DC -- NOVEMBER 13: Brett Kavanaugh, aide to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, during a meeting in the Office of the Solicitor General on November 13, 1996 in Washington DC. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
US Judge Brett Kavanaugh looks on as the US President announces him as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US Judge Brett Kavanaugh (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump after being nominated to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President George W. Bush (R) listens to U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Judge Brett Kavanaugh speak, [moments after being sworn-in at a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House], in Washington June 1, 2006.
U.S. President Donald Trump introduces his Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
UNITED STATES - JUNE 01: Brett Kavanaugh speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 1, 2006 in Washington, D.C., after being sworn in to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals. (Photo by Dennis Brack/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R) announces US Judge Brett Kavanaugh (C) as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) watches as Brett Kavanaugh (2nd L) is sworn in as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House in Washington June 1, 2006. Kavanaugh's wife, Ashley, holds the bible. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)
WASHINGTON - MAY 22: District of Columbia Circut Court of Appeals nominee Brett Kavanaugh attends a news conference with Senate GOP leadership in the Capitol May 22, 2006 in Washington, DC. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said that Kavanaugh deserves a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh smiles next to U.S. President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON - MAY 22: District of Columbia Circut Court of Appeals nominee Brett Kavanaugh (L) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) hold a news conference in the Capitol May 22, 2006 in Washington, DC. Frist said that Kavanaugh deserves a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh smiles next to U.S. President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
WASHINGTON - MAY 22: (L-R) U.S. Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), District of Columbia Circut Court of Appeals nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) hold a news conference in the Capitol May 22, 2006 in Washington, DC. Frist said that Kavanaugh deserves a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 22: (L-R) U.S. Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), District of Columbia Circut Court of Appeals nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) hold a news conference in the Capitol May 22, 2006 in Washington, DC. Frist said that Kavanaugh deserves a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 09: Brett Kavanaugh testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be U. S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 09: Brett M. Kavanaugh, who last appeared before the committee in late April 2004, is sworn in to testify during a second Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing. At right are former bosses Judge Walter K. Stapleton, of the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Wilmington, Del., and Judge Alex Kozinski, of the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Pasadena, Calif., who introduced Kavanaugh to the committee. Kavanaugh, President Bush's staff secretary, is the president's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., held the second hearing because Committee Democrats wanted to ask Kavanaugh, formerly an associate White House counsel, more questions about his involvement in the administration's legal policies, particularly on the National Security Agency terrorist surveillance program and the treatment of detainees held by the U.S. military. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON DC -- NOVEMBER 19: Brett Kavanaugh, associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, sits behind Starr during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the possible impeachment of President Bill Clinton on November 19, 1998 in Washington DC. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON DC -- NOVEMBER 13: Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, center, talks with Deputy Independent Counsel John Bates, left, and aide Brett Kavanaugh, right, and another colleague in the Office of the Solicitor General during the Whitewater Investigation on November 13, 1996 in Washington DC. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh (off frame) and their two daughters stand by US President Donald Trump after he announced his nomination in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (R) speaks after US President Donald Trump announced his nomination in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh and their two daughters stand by US President Donald Trump after he announced his nomination in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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California college professor Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her claim Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers, something Kavanaugh denies. Ford says the investigation should happen before a Monday hearing at which she and Kavanaugh are invited to testify.

Grassley rejected that idea Wednesday. The Iowa senator says "no other outside investigation is necessary."

President Donald Trump also has refused to get the FBI involved.

Republican staffers on the Judiciary panel have interviewed Kavanaugh and sought an interview with Ford. Grassley didn't provide further details on their investigation.

Committee Democrats have not participated and want FBI involvement.

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10:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump says "we'll have to make a decision" if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's sexual-assault accuser "makes a credible showing" before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He said Wednesday it would be "very interesting."

Trump calls Kavanaugh an "outstanding man" and says it's "very hard" for him to imagine anything happened.

The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing for Monday and has invited Kavanaugh and California college professor Christine Blasey Ford to testify regarding her allegation against him.

Ford says a drunken Kavanaugh assaulted her decades ago when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegation and has said he's willing to appear before the committee.

Ford's attorneys say she wants the FBI to investigate her allegation before she testifies.

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8:50 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says the White House should request an FBI investigation of the sexual-assault accusation facing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and any refusal to do so by Republicans amounts to rushing to confirm him.

The former Democratic presidential nominee said on MSNBC on Tuesday the relevant precedent is the FBI's investigation of Anita Hill's sexual-harassment allegation against Clarence Thomas in 1991. Like Kavanaugh, Thomas strongly denied the accusation against him.

Under Republican President George H.W. Bush, the White House asked the FBI add to Thomas' background check. President Donald Trump has refused to do so regarding California college professor Christine Blasey Ford's charge against Kavanaugh.

Clinton says that makes it difficult to "avoid the appearance of insult" against Ford. Clinton says she thinks Republicans are trying to put Ford "in the dock and try to rush this through."

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7:50 a.m.

Anita Hill says the Senate Judiciary Committee could be holding a "sham" hearing next week without an FBI investigation of a woman's sexual-assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh strongly denies the allegation and has suggested California college professor Christine Blasey Ford's account could be a case of mistaken identity.

But Hill told ABC she supports Ford's demand for an FBI investigation before a hearing Senate Republicans have set for Monday. Hill questions whether the Senate hearing "is going to be anything more than just a sham proceeding."

Hill's allegation Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her — and the committee's handling of his confirmation hearings — haunts Washington as a key event that alienated many women. Thomas denied Hill's account and was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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12:20 a.m.

Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford say that before she testifies on Capitol Hill next week she wants the FBI to investigate her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

But the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, says an FBI investigation wouldn't have any bearing on Ford's testimony so "there is no reason for further delay." Other Republicans are suggesting that Ford will have only this one opportunity to testify.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump showered sympathy on Kavanaugh. The president too has rejected the idea of bringing in the FBI to reopen its background check of the appeals court judge.

Ford's lawyers say she has been the target of "vicious harassment and even death threats" since coming forward with her story.

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