Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kavanaugh Accuser Says She Needs More Time to Consider Testifying Before Senate

Kavanaugh Accuser Says She Needs More Time to Consider Testifying Before Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) originally set the deadline for Ford to decide whether she would appear and testify at a scheduled hearing on September 24, for 10 a.m. on Friday.

His approval by the Judiciary Committee and the Republican-majority Senate appeared to be an nearly certainty until The Washington Post published its interview with Ford, who is now a California psychology professor. Originally, Professor Ford and her counsel had a 10:00 AM deadline on Friday to submit requests for testimony including date, time, and other specifics.

Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to "provide first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week", according to an email from her attorneys obtained by Politico. "She should decide so we can move on". They also wanted the hearing to be on Thursday. I hope you understand. "It's not my normal approach" to be "indecisive", Grassley tweeted.

He said if Ford and her lawyers failed to reach a decision his Republican-run panel would vote on sending Kavanaugh's nomination for Supreme Court Justice by Monday.

That's the new and latest deadline in the high-stakes confrontation over whether Brett Kavanaugh's accuser will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That question of fairness is at the heart of a bitterly partisan debate over how to deal with the allegation that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted Ford at a party when he was 17, she was 15, and they were attending private schools outside Washington, DC.

It could also threaten Mr Kavanaugh's support with several Republicans - including Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona - who have not declared their stances on his nomination. Democrats have demanded more time for scrutiny, and Republicans want to move ahead quickly with a confirmation vote in an increasingly volatile political climate ahead of the November 6 congressional elections. The proposal calls for Ford to testify first and Kavanaugh second.

"I have no doubt that, if the attack on 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", Mr Trump wrote. Ford does not enjoy being in enclosed spaces, her friends told the network.

He said he denies the allegation but stepped down "in order to not be a distraction" as Senate Republicans continue to work to get Kavanaugh confirmed. "It's a clever way to push off the vote Monday without committing to appear Wednesday". Experts say many women are reluctant to come forward and report sexual assaults, in part because they fear they will not be believed. "So I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong".

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, accused Republicans of "bullying" Ford and "turning a blind eye" to her story.

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del), called Trump's comments "unacceptable and beneath the Presidency of the United States". She said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her, putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, before she managed to escape. "This is the same man who has been credibly accused of more than a dozen cases of sexual assault or harassment".

"I'm providing notice of a vote to occur Monday in the event that Dr. Ford's attorneys don't respond or Dr. Ford decides not to testify", Grassley said in the statement earlier Friday. It seeks another day for Ford to make her decision.

"We reserve the option to have female staff attorneys, who are sensitive to the particulars of Dr. Ford's allegations and are experienced investigators, question both witnesses", the letter said.

Interested in Supreme Court?

Katz said Ford's "strong preference" is that "a full investigation" be completed before she testifies.

That's what Ford's legal team has done.

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