Some Republicans have said their support for Judge Kavanaugh depends on the outcome of the hearing. "The last-minute character assassination will not succeed".
In an interview Monday with Fox News, Kavanaugh said it is possible he may have met Ford. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said should be treated "the same way my daughters would be treated in the event they were making an accusation, or my mother or my wife". "The network released excerpts in advance".
It had seemed assured before Ms Ford, a 51-year-old California college professor, went public a week ago with her allegation that Mr Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party when they were in high school.
"I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone", Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has been the subject of mounting sexual misconduct allegations in recent weeks.
Trump said Monday the accusations were among "the single most unfair, unjust thing to happen to a candidate for anything".
Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both say they are determined to get Kavanaugh on the court.
He said he is confident that Flake, along with fellow moderate Republicans Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, will vote to confirm Kavanaugh as well in the full-Senate vote.
Capitol Hill has become a wild cat and mouse game, as reporters scramble to track down the key swing votes who could make or break Kavanaugh's nomination.
The U.S. Senate's partisan brawl over President Donald Trump's embattled Supreme Court nominee intensified Tuesday, fewer than 48 hours before Judge Brett Kavanaugh and one of his accusers were expected to give contradictory testimony on whether the nominee committed sexual assault as a teenager.
On Saturday, Ford sent a personal letter to the Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen.
However. Ramirez said she was drunk when it happened and, according to the New York Times, recently told classmates she wasn't sure whether Kavanaugh was the student in question. "I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates".
She made several requests, some of which were accommodated - a Thursday hearing, three days later than originally scheduled, and a smaller hearing room with less press access to avoid a media circus, for example.
The Kavanaugh confirmation fight comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans, against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault.