Kavanaugh's accuser willing to talk to Congress, lawyer says

Saul Bowman
September 20, 2018

In a statement issued through the White House, he said, this is a completely false allegation.

"You and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen US senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident", Ford's legal team wrote to Grassley.

"She believes that if were not for the severe intoxication of Brett Kavanaugh, she would have been raped", Ms Katz told NBC. Explaining Ford's initial reluctance to come forward, Katz said, "No one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of violation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go though". Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

The Post described evidence appearing to show Ford had made the allegation in private years before Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The White House said Monday that the nominee's denial has not changed. "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone", Kavanaugh said in a statement issued by the White House, his first comment since Ford's identity was revealed on Sunday.

But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway took pains to display concern for Kavanaugh's accuser. She should not be ignored. Moderates in both parties including pivotal Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Kavanaugh and Ford should be given the chance to testify before the committee, a move that could delay the confirmation process. Is Kavanaugh's confirmation in jeopardy at this point?

"He's already testified for over 24 hours, I think we're closer to 30 hours, he and others, including women right, left and center ideologically who support him, testified to his character and integrity", she added.

Ford initially contacted both Feinstein and the Washington Post in July, but at the time, she was not willing to make her allegation publicly. With a name and disturbing details, the accusation raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Trump's nominee ahead of midterm elections featuring an unprecedented number of female candidates and informed in part by the #MeToo movement. She said she escaped after Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them.

Ford, a 51-year-old psychology professor, accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago in the 1980s, when they were both teenagers in high school.

A split over the nomination seemed to be emerging among the GOP. Flake went as far as to say he was "not comfortable" voting for Kavanaugh for the time being.

The dueling testimony could threaten Trump's attempt to install a conservative in the place of frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, potentially altering the balance of the court for a generation. "For me, we can't vote until we hear more". Contacted Sunday by CNN, Republican Susan Collins of ME wouldn't say if the vote should be postponed. On Sunday, the Post published an interview with Ford. He said "standard procedure" calls for starting with follow-up calls with Kavanaugh and Ford but that the office of Sen. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing". Her husband, Russell Ford, recalled to the Post that she talked during their 2012 sessions about the incident, mentioning Kavanaugh's last name and that he was a federal judge who might be on the Supreme Court eventually.

Both Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of physical and sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, will testify before the panel, setting up a blockbuster event that could decide Kavanaugh's fate.

According to multiple sources, Kavanaugh also has hired Beth Wilkinson, of the law firm Wilkinson Walsh and Eskovitz, to be his attorney.

Three red-state Democrats, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska would be key.

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