Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Kavanaugh accuser seeks terms for testimony as deadline looms

Kavanaugh accuser seeks terms for testimony as deadline looms

Following her willingness to testify before the Senate, the woman who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago said she does not want to be near the SCOTUS nominee during her potential questioning.

Blasey's attorneys also asked if the committee could subpoena Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high school friend whom Blasey said was in the room during the alleged assault, according to The Associated Press.

Attorney Debra Katz said anew that Ford, 51, a psychology professor in California, has received death threats and for safety reasons has relocated her family.

Ford rejected that, saying she "knew them both, and socialized with" them, according to a Washington Post report.

Taylor Foy, spokesman for Republicans on the panel, said after the call that Grassley "will consult with his colleagues on the committee".

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has scheduled a hearing for Monday morning, and he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have indicated it would be Ford's only chance to make her case.

Ford has also made it clear that she wants to be questioned by senators rather than outside counsel, Borger noted.

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"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. Because Ford's accusation is already public, Grassley argued that it was appropriate for the Senate to step in with their own investigation as lawmakers did when the Hill allegation first became public.

"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. 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. Because guilt or innocence isn't the issue, but instead fitness for the Supreme Court, the burden of proof isn't, and shouldn't be, on Ford, the accuser; it remains on Kavanaugh.

Hirono spoke at an event on Capitol Hill to highlight a letter of support that was said to have been signed by more than 1,000 alumni of Ford's high school in Maryland.

A senior Senate Democratic aide noted that reopening Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks was fairly routine; 10 such probes into judicial nominees had been reopened in the last three months alone, the aide said. "I remain committed to defending my integrity".

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives on the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, on September 4, 2018.

"I think it's ironic that we have senators who are deciding about who is going to sit on the highest court, but they can't really put partisanship aside long enough to put together a fair hearing to get to the truth about this situation".

Now, Ford's willingness to negotiate to appear later next week sets up the most dramatic and politically significant she-said-he-said since Anita Hill testified at the reopened Senate hearings on Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination to the court.

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