Kavanaugh accuser to testify Thursday in Senate: lawyers

Geneva Stokes
September 24, 2018

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her at a high school party 36 years ago.

Kavanaugh appeared on a likely path to confirmation in a Senate controlled by the GOP 51-49 until Ford's allegation came to light Sept 13 when top Senate Judiciary Democrat Dianne Feinstein said she told the Federal Bureau of Investigation about unspecified information she received in July about the nominee.

Had Ford's lawyers not responded to the proposal or if Ford decided not to testify by the deadline, Grassley said, the committee would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Monday.

Dr Ford, a university professor, had originally been granted a deadline on Friday, which later was extended to Saturday, to agree to testify.

Ms Ford initially indicated she wanted to tell her story to the committee, but talks dragged on as her lawyers negotiated terms of her appearance. It says she will "provide her firsthand knowledge" but it doesn't say how. And, in a measure of how half-baked its measures are, the GOP has shown no interest in hearing testimony from Judge, Kavanaugh's close high-school friend who Ford has jumped on the bed as Kavanaugh was assaulting her, which allowed her to escape.

But holding onto Kavanaugh's nomination and going through an investigation is a political risk for Republicans. "'I can not live in this country if he's in the Supreme Court'".

"I want to listen to her, but I'm being honest with you and everybody else".

In a Saturday evening email, an attorney representing Ford's former classmate, Leland Ingham Keyser, stated that his client "does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without Dr. Ford".

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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 .

Blasey Ford's team said in the statement that "among the issues" to be determined is "who on the Majority side will be asking the questions, whether senators or staff attorneys". 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.

After days of relative restraint, Trump lashed at Ford on Friday, questioning the credibility of her allegations, and in doing so may already have hurt his nominee's chances with a senator from his own party. Republican committee staff and Ford's lawyers had reached a stalemate in negotiations over the details of the testimony.

The hearing will likely push the vote to confirm Kavanaugh back to October.

While Sosa and Villarino tried to normalize the behavior behind the allegations, other women on the panel tried to call into question Ford's honesty and integrity. Well, someone told Whelan what was up, and any coordination with Kavanaugh (for example, via the right-wing PR outfit CRC, who hyped Whelan's revelation), would be separate grounds for denying him confirmation and would also ensnare the judge in the host of civil and ethical problems Whelan created.

"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 said.

"We have to fight for him, not anxious about the other side", he said.

Garrett Ventry, who had been involved in crafting Republican tactics in response to Ford's allegations, told NBC News he denied any past "allegations of misconduct".

Ford's lawyers said Thursday night that Ford wouldn't be able to get to Washington before next Thursday because of all that her family is dealing with, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

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