Senator Charles Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee considering Kavanaugh's appointment to a lifetime seat on the country's highest court, said his staff had reached out several times to Kavanaugh's accuser, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, but had yet to hear back that she would appear at Monday's hearing.
This is vile. A person can not claim a crime happened and then turn around and say she doesn't know if it happened when pressured for details. Kavanaugh said he "categorically and unequivocally" denies the allegation, which he called "completely false".
Gillibrand and Democratic Sen.
Republicans control the Senate by only a narrow margin, meaning any defections within the party could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump.
The battle for confirmation comes just weeks before congressional elections on 6 November. Ford can't remember when and where the alleged incident happened other than at a high school party almost 40 years ago.
"She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".
"I'm very supportive", Trump told reporters at the White House.
However, the President has continued to praise Kavanaugh's supposedly spotless record. The White House would like to see Ford testify so it will be clear she has been given the space to speak, but believes that if she doesn't, the process will continue and he will be confirmed, according to people who weren't authorized to discuss administration thinking by name.
Majority Republicans, haunted by the panel's 1991 treatment of Anita Hill during Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings, say the invitation to testify publicly on Monday stands.
"Republicans are trying to bully her into a rigged hearing", No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of IL tweeted about Ford.
Twelve of Ford's family members wrote an open letter, posted on Twitter on Wednesday by her niece, actress and singer Bridgit Mendler, referring to Ford as "highly ethical" and saying "her honesty is above reproach".
But Hill told ABC she supports Ford's demand for an FBI investigation before a hearing Senate Republicans have set for Monday.
Democrats have objected to the deadline, not wanting to let the hearing degenerate into Kavanaugh's word against Ford's.
Kavanaugh denies Ford's accusation that he assaulted her decades ago when they were teens.
Ford's attorneys say she wants the FBI to investigate her allegation before she testifies.
What are Republicans hiding about Kavanaugh?
Any woman in the public eye can tell you about that. "This strikes us as simply a check-the-box exercise in a rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh".
And if they are taking that tack because the Democrats want to delay the confirmation process in the hopes of jettisoning Kavanaugh and energizing female voters, that's likely to backfire.
There were signs the GOP moves were keeping possible Republican defections in check.
Democrats oppose Mr Kavanaugh's nomination and have called for the FBI to launch an investigation.
"If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision", he said.
Mr Grassley's letter states that Prof Ford has until Friday morning to provide the committee with her prepared testimony and biography if she plans to testify next Monday.