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In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, for the third day of his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers has come forward to The Washington Post. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are considering whether to hire outside attorneys to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexual assault.

Ford has not yet indicated whether she will appear at a hearing Monday. Kavanaugh has denied her allegation and is expected to testify.

All 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are men. They face the delicate task of interrogating Ford about her accusation that Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to rip off her clothes at a high school party in the early 1980s.

Republicans could avoid the uncomfortable questioning by hiring outside counsel to do it. Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas says the option is being discussed.

Even if outside attorneys are hired, Cornyn says senators could still ask questions.

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