GOP Judiciary Committee gives counteroffer to Kavanaugh's accuser

Hugh Fox
September 22, 2018

Lawyers for Blasey are also pressing Republicans to subpoena outside witnesses, notably Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh's who Blasey says was in the room when the assault occurred. But she's clearly made a decision to embrace the role of partisan adversary. The only red lines: "Ensuring her safety and making sure she's NOT in the same room as Kavanaugh".

"I hope u understand", he wrote just before midnight, in a comment directed at Kavanaugh. "It's not my normal approach" to be "indecisive", Grassley tweeted.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley granted the request Friday night.

Trump's broadside outraged many women who took to social media and the news media to reveal their own stories of long-ago sexual assaults and rapes.

Trump addressed Ford's allegation in a tweet on Friday that questioned why she didn't come forward about her assault claim for over three decades.

The Republican-controlled Senate judiciary panel has struggled on how to proceed with Kavanaugh's nomination.

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Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the charges, saying he has never done any such thing to Ford or any other woman.

The discussion revived the possibility that the panel would hold an electrifying campaign-season hearing at which Ms Ford and President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee could give their versions of what happened at a party in the 1980s.

"I have no doubt that if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents", Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

"You say, why didn't somebody call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago?" he said, referring to the accuser without naming her.

"We know that allegations of sexual assault are some of the most under-reported crimes that exist". It's telling that the president tweeted out that "facts don't matter". The committee's 11 Republicans - all men - have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford, mindful of the election-season impression that could be left by men trying to pick apart a woman's assertion of a sexual attack. He was still elected president in November 2016. "First they announced a hearing before inviting her, now they're ignoring her willingness to cooperate", Feinstein said.

The Democrats, all of whom served as prosecutors or state attorneys general, noted that President George H.W. Bush asked the FBI to investigate after law professor Anita Hill raised allegations of sexual harassment against Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991.

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Grassley proposed a Wednesday hearing, during which Ford can speak to senators on the committee and Kavanaugh can formally respond.

Collins and US Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are particularly watched because both Republicans have long said they are in favor of abortion rights and Kavanaugh opponents fear that if he joins the court he could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell drew a standing ovation when he assured a gathering of evangelical activists that the conservative Kavanaugh would soon be a justice. A Washington Post poll released earlier this month found that women opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation, 45 percent to 29 percent.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Under siege: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Ms Ford's attorney, Debra Katz, said Ms Ford couldn't appear on Monday as Mr Grassley had planned and proposed testifying on Thursday instead, according to a Senate aide familiar with the negotiations.

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