Showdown between Kavanaugh, accuser scheduled for next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are forging ahead with plans for a Senate hearing they had wanted to avoid on a woman’s claims that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were high schoolers.

They’re hoping their new strategy will salvage Kavanaugh’s endangered nomination with a risky, nationally televised showdown between the appeals court judge and his accuser.

Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from the 53-year-old Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

Their sworn testimony, certain to be conflicting and emotive, will offer a campaign-season test of the political potency of a #MeToo movement that has already toppled prominent men from entertainment, government and journalism.

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