Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Willing to Testify Next Week

Posted September 22, 2018

With Trump's effort to cement conservative control of the nation's highest court on a knife's edge, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley set a Friday morning deadline for Christine Blasey Ford to decide if she will talk to lawmakers.

The letter to the unnamed woman, dated September 18, asks if she would be willing to participate in a confidential phone call to discuss the allegations made against Kavanaugh the following day.

President Donald Trump has been increasingly vocal in his defense of Kavanaugh since a confidential letter that detailed assault allegations became public, but he has largely stayed away from publicly challenging the accuser's credibility - unlike his eldest son.

If Ford opts not to testify, Kavanaugh's chances for confirmation in the Republican-led Senate could be boosted, with senators in Trump's party so far remaining largely supportive.

It's not the first time Flake and Trump Jr. have tangled on Twitter. Kavanaugh has said that he is also willing to testify again in front of the committee.

The accusations from Christine Blasey Ford, denied vehemently by Kavanaugh, threaten to slow his Senate confirmation vote, with Democrats saying the FBI should investigate the charges, a demand that is not gaining traction among Republicans.

Katz reiterated that Ford would like the FBI to investigate before her testimony. Grassley wrote in a Wednesday letter to Democrats on the Judiciary Committee that the FBI investigated Hill's accusations against Thomas when they were still not public.

Ford and Democrats want the Federal Bureau of Investigation to add to Kavanaugh's background check with more interviews about her allegation.

Ford has agreed to testify next week, if the Committee agrees to conditions, including that Kavanaugh must not be in the room while she answers questions.

Ford will not appear any sooner than next Thursday.

"The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth", Ms Banks wrote. "Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened".

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"We know because Brett Kavanaugh is a good man", she said. The alleged assault took place when Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17; they were in high school then. Then when a news report surfaced about the story, Feinstein said she made a decision to go public. Grassley said he was disturbed to learn of the threats.

There is no other way to read McConnell's comment other than that the Ford allegation doesn't matter to him, at least not when he's so close to fulfilling his goal of firming up the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 conservative majority weeks before an election.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican who supports abortion rights and is expected to be a swing vote on Kavanaugh, said she was "appalled by the President's tweet", the Associated Press reported.

"I think it's helping us", Seeger said of Kavanaugh's confirmation process, adding that it's making Democrats "look bad".

Following the president's controversial comments, the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport began trending on Twitter, with thousands sharing personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

The tweet was Trump's strongest indication of support for Brett Kavanaugh yet, after the president had spent much of the week vowing he would listen respectfully to Ford's allegations.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed a growing number of Americans opposing Kavanaugh's nomination.

In the call later Thursday, Katz asked the committee to subpoena Mark Judge, whom Ford has named as the other teen in the room at the time.

Palo Alto University issued a statement supporting Ford. Ford, Conway said, should not be ignored or insulted and should be heard.

But supporters of both Judge Kavanaugh and Prof Ford have also been vocal. Most significantly, 40 percent say they don't know whether to believe the allegations against him.

Trump quickly followed that tweet with another one in which he questioned Ford's behavior and motives, mirroring the strategy used against Anita Hill decades ago.

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