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Just a week after it seemed likely he'd sail through confirmation hearings, President Donald Trump's pick to be the next US Supreme Court justice, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, faces a potential FBI investigation and Senate testimony from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. 

His accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, has not ruled out appearing next Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify, but said through her lawyers that an FBI investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident".

Kavanaugh has called Ford's allegations that he sexually assaulted her in 1982 "completely false". The Senate Judiciary Committee officially cancelled a meeting set this Thursday to vote on advancing his nomination.

Trump has stepped up his defence of Kavanaugh and expressed sympathy toward his nominee. “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you,” Trump told a news conference. “This is not a man that deserves this.”