Grassley's Office: Christine Blasey Ford’s Demands in Exchange for Testimony are Non-Starters

Geneva Stokes
September 21, 2018

Ford's attorneys raised the possibility of subpoenaing several witnesses including Mark Judge, who she says egged Kavanaugh on during the assault.

'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 Friday. His Republican party accuses the Democrats of using Ford as a last-minute spoiler to try and wreck Kavanaugh's path to the highest court, where he would tilt the bench firmly to the right for possibly years to come.

Debra Katz, one of Ford's attorneys, said in Thursday's email that she wanted to set up a call later that day to discuss conditions for Ford's testimony.

Since Christine Blasey Ford's allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have emerged, Senate Republicans have desperately tried to claim that the timing of claims is somehow suspicious. Kavanaugh, who has strongly denied the claims, has already agreed to appear. But Ford and her lawyers are obviously making the most of charges of insensitivity to tilt the playing field in her direction, or to avoid having to testify at all.

Ford is willing to tell her story - but only if agreement can be reached on "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety", her lawyer said Thursday.

Democratic senators, pointing to the highly charged Anita Hill hearings in October 1991, have defended Ford's request to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation do its own probe before she testifies.

That isn't clear. What Feinstein has said is that Ford asked her to keep the letter confidential.

Ford's lawyers said on Tuesday she would testify before the committee only if the FBI first investigated her allegation. Kavanuagh has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The tone of the correspondence is markedly different from the heated rhetoric being employed by members of both parties on the Judiciary Committee, who have accused one another of mishandling Ford's allegations.

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President Trump said Wednesday that her performance in that hearing could determine whether he stands by his embattled nominee. On Monday , Grassley asked Ford to appear before the committee next week in order to testify regarding these allegations .

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"If the White House were to ask the FBI to reopen its file and go conduct the investigation, the FBI could do that", he said.

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. Kavanaugh wrote to Grassley in a letter released by the White House that he looks forward to testifying.

Senate Republicans have been clamoring to get Ford in front of the Judiciary Committee before lawmakers vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court next week. The Senate must confirm Supreme Court nominees.

Ford wants to be questioned by senators, not a special counsel.

If Senate Republicans push through the nomination, those surveyed predict significant political repercussions.

To Hannity, Trump called it a "very sad situation", characterizing Kavanaugh as an "outstanding person".

Professor Christine Blasey Ford is seen in an undated photo posted to ResearchGate and Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears at a confirmation hearing in Washington, Sept. 4, 2018.

A substantial delay could push confirmation past the November elections - when Democrats have a shot at winning Senate control - plus allow more time for unforeseen problems to pop up.

"What is happening with the Judiciary Committee, really, I would call it a railroad job, " Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, said alongside Gillibrand on Thursday.

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