5 big questions about the Kavanaugh hearing

In six days, the political world -- and the broader world -- will turn to the Senate Judiciary Committee, wh...

Posted: Sep 19, 2018 9:30 AM
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 9:30 AM

In six days, the political world -- and the broader world -- will turn to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexual assault, will testify before the assembled senators.

We think.

Brett Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford

Donald Trump

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In response to the request from Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to appear next Monday to tell the story of her alleged sexual assault, Ford's attorneys said in a letter that the FBI should investigate the incident before senators hold a hearing.

Ford's attorney Lisa Banks threw more cold water on the idea of a Monday hearing. "She will talk with the committee," Banks told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "She is not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday. This just came out 48 hours ago."

Whether or not Ford will actually attend the hearing -- which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted would go forward on Monday -- is the biggest unanswered question heading into next week's hearing, but it's far from the only one. Here are four more.

2. Will Grassley add any more witnesses? There's talk that Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's friend and someone who Ford alleges was in the room when the assault happened, might be called to testify. A lawyer for Judge told CNN on Tuesday that he wasn't speaking publicly to anyone, but Sen. Doug Jones told CNN Tuesday that he thinks Judge should be subpoenaed to testify. Then there is the question of whether the therapist Ford and her husband saw in 2012 might be called. Partial notes from the therapist reviewed by The Washington Post confirmed that Ford talked about the incident, although there was a discrepancy between how many people she now says were in the room and how many the therapist recorded her saying.

3. Will this be a public or a private hearing? On Tuesday, McConnell offered Ford the option of testifying in public or private. Ford's lawyer on Monday said that she was open to a public hearing, but it's not clear whether that may have changed.

4. Will President Donald Trump stay measured? The President has been remarkably measured -- by his own admittedly low standards -- when it comes to the allegations from Ford. "We should go through a process," Trump said Tuesday. "There shouldn't even be a little doubt." But there's a lot of time between now and next Monday. And Trump's Twitter fingers might get itchy.

5. Will Republicans stay unified? At the moment, Senate Republicans and the White House are singing from the same songbook: Bring Ford in, let her tell her story, ask questions and then see what happens from there. Can the GOP keep up that unified front -- with the 2018 election now seven weeks away and concerns about how the Kavanaugh story impacts the party's election prospects growing by the day?

The Point: The hearing is only six days away, supposedly. And the stakes, not just for Kavanaugh and Ford personally but for Trump and both parties, are stupendously large. And yet, uncertainty reigns. This has the makings of high-wire act with no net for everyone involved.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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