Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kavanaugh's accuser agrees to testify on Thursday

Kavanaugh's accuser agrees to testify on Thursday

As the Senate Judiciary Committee staff negotiates with attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a past sexual assault, over a potential hearing on Thursday, Republican staffers are working to interview those who may have information about the alleged incident.

The lawyers for Ford wrote that she "accepts the Committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week".

The committee wanted her to appear Wednesday, but she prefers her earlier request for Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

A senior White House official deemed it a stalling tactic and an effort to "push off" the confirmation vote.

Republicans are frustrated over what they say was the deliberate timing of the last-minute revelation of Ford's allegation, accusing Democrats of seeking to prevent the process from finishing before the midterm elections in a few weeks.

Some 36 percent told Fox they believe her accusation that he attempted to hold her down and strip her clothes off during a high school party, while just 30 percent believe his refutation that he wasn't even at such a party, much less that he attempted to assault anyone.

"I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh".

White House leakers suggested over the weekend that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is struggling with questions about his personal life in prep sessions for upcoming testimony, possibly paving the way to withdraw his nomination.

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The tentative accord could close days of brinkmanship over whether Ford would testify.

Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.

It said she had considered leaving the U.S. when it became clear Kavanaugh would be Trump's pick for supreme court justice.

The previous deadline for resolving the disputes was set at 10pm on Friday but Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, rejected it as arbitrary and a bullying tactic. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hear from both Kavanaugh and Ford next week. If the Ford hearings are the farce they are shaping up to be, all of these factors are going to hurt Republicans, as Trump might say, "bigly". But, she said the proposed order of business is "fundamentally inconsistent with the Committee's promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations".

Kavanaugh had seemed to gain momentum among Republican senators this week, with growing numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those who'd voiced concern about Ford's charges stopping short of expressing opposition to Kavanaugh.

Grassley has rebuffed other Ford requests, including calling additional witnesses.

Those who are against the Senate confirming Kavanaugh expect him to be too conservative, while those who support his nomination believe his ideology is about right.

Ford's request for security comes after her lawyers said she has relocated her family due to death threats.

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