Christine Blasey Ford Agrees to Testify Next Week - With Conditions | Trending

Hugh Fox
September 24, 2018

Republicans grew frustrated as Ms Ford's lawyers insisted on a hearing next Thursday rather than Monday or even Wednesday and made other requests, some of which the committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley rejected.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote a letter to President Trump urging him to direct the FBI to investigate sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The lawyers said they were "hopeful that we can reach agreement on details" of Ms Ford's appearance.

The announcement follows days of negotiations to arrange the testimony of Dr Ford, who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of pinning her down and muffling her cries as he tried to pull off her clothes at a high school party in the 1980s. And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence has also drawn intensified attention to the #MeToo movement's focus on sexual abuse.

"We look at this statement as a delay tactic", the official said.

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Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the allegations and said he would be willing to testify.

Also Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence joined the chorus of Republican support for Kavanaugh, telling a crowd of around 2,000 conservative activists at the Values Voter Summit that Kavanaugh "is a man of integrity, with impeccable credentials and a proven judicial philosophy" and that he would soon be confirmed.

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The allegation against Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump's pick for the USA top court, became public last week. And in an email obtained by USA TODAY, a lawyer for a woman Ford also said was at the house said she didn't know Kavanaugh and that she did not remember the party. She referred to Ford as a "survivor of attempted rape" - even though Kavanaugh has denied her accusation, and every witness Ford has mentioned has contradicted her account.

The proposed hearing, according to three sources, would include an outside counsel who would ask questions.

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Ford's lawyers say the committee has not indicated when they will respond, but said the remaining "procedural and logistical issues" will "not impede the hearing taking place". Ford dropped her initial request for an FBI investigation of her allegations. Trump broke his silence to cast doubt on Ford's story Friday in ways Republicans had been carefully trying to avoid. Kavanaugh's team, the Times reported, acknowledge that the calendars don't disprove Blasey Ford's claim. "I want to listen to Dr. Ford". Grassley lamented in a tweet late Friday night that with all the deadline extensions, he felt like he was playing "2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra", and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was the conductor.

Earlier this week, Ms Ford's lawyers said that she would not appear before the Senate until the FBI had investigated the allegations.

U.S. President Donald Trump has defended his Supreme Court nominee and questioned why Ford did not report the incident to police.

"She has already been forced out of her home and continues to be subjected to harassment, hate mail, and death threats".

He acknowledged that lawmakers will "probably not" be able to know the truth of Ford's decades-old accusation that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party when they were teenagers.

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