Under right terms, Kavanaugh accuser may testify after all

Geneva Stokes
September 21, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, has denied a viral rumor that suggested she could have "mistakenly" identified Kavanaugh for another high school classmate. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is expected to present Ford with a counter offer as early as Friday.

Ford had already indicated that she can not be prepared by Monday, as the current schedule for a hearing in front of the Senate judiciary committee demands.

The attorneys also asked if the senators could preside over questioning instead of bringing in outside counsel, a senior congressional source with knowledge of the call told CNN.

"Someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate their claims, " Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of NY, said Thursday at an event on Capitol Hill. If they believe that Kavanaugh lied under oath in answers to written or oral questions related to any part of the confirmation process, they're entitled to vote no.

"Otherwise, there are these very serious allegations hanging over the head of a nominee who has emphatically denied them and that's just not a good way for us to end", Collins said.

Taylor Foy, spokesman for Grassley, said: "We are happy that Dr. Ford's attorneys are now engaging with the Committee". So with committee rules requiring at least a week's notice, that could push off her appearance into October, with a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination not possible until shortly before Election Day.

Katz reiterated that Ford would like the FBI to investigate before her testimony. The conversation also touched on security concerns and others issues, according to a Senate aide who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because public discussion of the matter was unauthorized.

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Even if senators aren't sure what, if anything, happened between Ford and Kavanaugh, if they think the accusation is probable, or even plausible, and decide that it's too great a risk to put a maybe-sexual-assaulter on the high court, they're entitled to vote no.

"What is happening with the Judiciary Committee, really, I would call it a railroad job", Sen.

CBS News has obtained the email sent by Ford's attorneys Thursday night to the Judiciary Committee after their call. She called on the FBI to investigate the assault allegation "and all the threats she's undergoing".

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is welcomed by protesters opposed to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, as they demonstrate in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

Democrats, who opposed the conservative federal appeals court judge even before Ford made her allegation, have accused Republicans of rushing the nomination before the November 6 congressional elections.

It remained unclear, though, whether Ford would attend or if the hearing would occur without her as a drama that has riveted Washington since emerging a week ago was injected with a fresh burst of election-season suspense.

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