Judge Brett Kavanugh’s alleged sexual assault accuser has until Friday to testify

Pauline Gross
September 25, 2018

Christine Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her when they were teenagers, has told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she will not be able to testify on Monday - but she's open to testifying at some point in the near future provided certain conditions are met. Grassley has instead scheduled a hearing for Monday for Ford and Kavanaugh to testify about the alleged incident.

Grassley's committee wants prepared testimony from Ford by Friday and an answer on whether she will accept its invitation to testify Monday.

The lawyer added that Ford wants an FBI investigation to be conducted into her allegation before she testifies.

Hirono asked during a news conference introducing a letter from 1,000 alumnae of the Holton-Arms School supporting Christine Blasey Ford, who was attending the school when she alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

Grassley announced later that he would convene a hearing with both Ford and Kavanaugh, who has denied her allegations, on the coming Monday. "She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety", Katz wrote to the committee. When the FBI investigated Hill's allegations against Thomas in 1991, it took only three days.

"The White House is walking a tightrope", said evangelist Robert Jeffress, a close confidante of Trump.

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to win control of Congress.

Meanwhile, small groups of demonstrators gathered in Senate office buildings Thursday to protest Republicans' handling of Ford's claim.

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Bredesen has avoided saying whether he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh for the high court if he were in the Senate.

Avenatti demanded to present testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and called for Kavanaugh's nomination to be withdrawn.

She alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes at a party in Maryland in the early 1980s when he was 17 and she was 15. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said the allegation against Kavanaugh, if true, is "close to being disqualifying, if not disqualifying".

The senior senator for Trump's Democratic foes, Chuck Schumer, called the president's logic a "highly offensive misunderstanding of surviving trauma", while Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said: "We must treat sexual assault survivors with respect, not bully or try to silence them".

One of the four has yet to be publicly identified.

Hirono also railed against Grassley's assertion that Republicans have done all they can do to contact Ford and have her appear before his committee, telling ABC's "World News Tonight" on Wednesday that "That's such bulls*** I can hardly stand it".

The tentative deal capped a day of frenetic developments, with time running out for Trump to get his hand-picked conservative judge confirmed - thereby tilting the Supreme Court firmly to the right for years to come - before November elections when Republicans risk losing control of Congress.

Other reports by GizPress

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