Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford agrees to testify in Senate hearing

Pauline Gross
September 23, 2018

The Committee had delayed a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation after Christine Blasey Ford's allegations emerged last week.

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

"Which means, if that's the new standard, no man will ever qualify for the Supreme Court again".

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

Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford on Friday, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement. And so we are left basically with he-said, she-said.

"I want to listen to her, but I'm being honest with you and everybody else. I want to hear your testimony", Grassley wrote.

"Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate", Katz added.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her at a party when he was 17, she was 15 and they were attending private schools outside Washington in the 1980s.

Judge refuted Ford's claim in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, writing "I have no memory of this alleged incident". With Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona saying they wanted to hear from Ford before voting, Grassley couldn't very well cut off discussion. "The White House sees this as not an acceptance". "But she should come forward, she should have her say, she will be respectfully treated".

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But some Republicans believe the agreement to appear, sent just minutes before a 2:30 p.m. deadline set by Chairman Charles Grassley, is a smokescreen to delay a vote on the nominee. Katz rightly called these deadlines arbitrary and more importantly knew she had leverage.

The president's tweet brought blistering rejoinders from Democrats and a mix of silence and sighs of regret from his own party.

Trump's outburst saw a new #MeToo era hashtag storm the internet, with people - mostly women - sharing why they did not report being assaulted under the Twitter hashtag #WhyIDidntReport. But comments by Gina Sosa, a former congressional candidate, have drawn the most controversy. "This is the same man who has been credibly accused of more than a dozen cases of sexual assault or harassment".

After days of avoiding a commitment to testify - claiming everything from a fear of flying to failing to understand the dress code - Ford now says she's willing to face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, provided the Committee makes certain accommodations which Ford and her legal team have yet to specify. "It's also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of effect happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there".

He said the judge's record and career deserve "the respect of every member of the United States Senate".

Grassley's stance reflected a desire by Trump and GOP leaders to usher Kavanaugh onto the high court by the October 1 start of its new session and before the November elections.

The Senate is made up of 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats - so any testimony she gives on the allegations could prove pivotal.

That's because Republicans are expected to maintain control of the Senate, but if Democrats gain control, they probably won't confirm a second Trump nominee to the Supreme Court.

Ford has received death threats while Kavanaugh and his wife also have received threats.

Other reports by GizPress

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