Kavanaugh’s accuser says she would testify under right terms

Share

Christine Blasey Ford opened the possibility she would testify before Congress about her accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump's searing reproach of Christine Blasey Ford on Friday defied the Senate Republican strategy - and the advice of White House aides - of not disparaging her while firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.

Ford had said in a letter through her lawyers on Tuesday evening that she wanted an FBI investigation into the matter before she appeared before the Senate committee tasked with reviewing Kavanuagh's nomination.

Prof Ford has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly pinning her to a bed and trying to remove her clothing at a house party in a Washington DC suburb when they were both teenagers 36 years ago. Ford and Democrats want the Federal Bureau of Investigation to add to Kavanaugh's background check with more interviews about her allegation.

Collins, a swing vote on the nomination, said the California college professor needs to testify so senators can assess her credibility.

Before the president's tweets Friday, counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway told reporters there was "no reason" to attack Ford. "He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh". He said that Ford and her attorneys have until Friday to commit to appear at a hearing that could take place Monday about these allegations. On Thursday evening, Ford's lawyers reiterated that she would not testify Monday, but said she "would be prepared to testify next week" if offered "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".

"Brett Kavanaugh-and I'm not saying anything about anybody else-but I want to tell you that Brett Kavanaugh is one of the finest human beings you will have the privilege of knowing or meeting".

According to the statement, Ford and her family have received threats and she is "currently unable to go home".

Sara Fagen, another longtime friend who worked with Kavanaugh in the White House, told a story about how Kavanaugh helped her the day of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

"They are totally intent on getting Judge Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, come hell or high water", said Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, who touted a letter of support for Ford signed by more than 1,000 women who graduated from the Maryland school Ford attended in the 1980s.

Specifically, Collins told a ME radio station that she believes in the Senate's responsibility to vet nominees for high offices like the Supreme Court position for which Kavanaugh has been nominated.

Grassley also asked Feinstein to send him a copy of the original, unredacted letter from Ford. "I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name".

Without directly referencing Trump Jr., Conway said Ford "should not be insulted, and she should not be ignored".

Fagen recalled how a Secret Service agent, during the chaos of that day, told her to run from her office amid fears a hijacked airliner could be headed toward the White House. "They've delayed it a week already".

Taylor Foy, spokesman for Grassley, said: "We are happy that Dr. Ford's attorneys are now engaging with the Committee". Republicans are anxious to move ahead to a vote by the committee, where they hold an 11-10 majority, and then by the full Senate, which they control, 51-49. But Ford said Monday is impossible for her, offering instead to testify later in the week under certain conditions. Here, moreover, it would be the first thing, since after 36 years a forensic investigation is not possible.

Whelan, an adviser to Kavanaugh's confirmation effort, dumped all this on Twitter Thursday evening.

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to win control of Congress from the Republicans.

Share