A Democrat Senate candidate is siding with some in the GOP who say a vote on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should go forward if the woman accusing him of sexual assault declines an invitation to testify.
Christine Blasey Ford has maintained her claim that Kavanaugh forced himself on her at a party in the early 1980s.
She has indicated that she will share her story with the Senate Judiciary Committee, but her lawyer has put forth a list of ground rules for such testimony.
For candidate Phil Bredesen, who faces a challenging Senate bid in the Republican stronghold of Tennessee, the claims articulated thus far are enough to impact his opinion but should not derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation altogether, The Associated Press reported.
“She has put herself out there,” the candidate said. “If she decided at this point to not do something, I guess the committee has to go ahead and say, ‘Well, we were willing to listen, but if she’s not willing to talk we need to go forward.'”
Bredesen described Ford’s allegation as “a very credible story” and said her claims, if true, would be severe enough to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court bench.
He said the accusations Ford has made are “close to being disqualifying, if not disqualifying.”
A testimony under oath, however, would weigh much heavier on him if he were in a position to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“Even what she’s done so far would impact my thinking, but not nearly as much as if she sat there and I had a chance to question her,” he said.
Though Senate leaders offered several options for Ford to testify, she has pushed back in favor of postponing any testimony until after the completion of an FBI probe into the alleged attack.
Through her attorney, she has communicated several other terms she would like the Senate to meet before agreeing to answer questions.
According to CBS News, Ford said she will not testify before Sept. 28 and she wants to be questioned by senators, not lawyers.
She also wants Mark Judge, whom she identified as another individual in the room during the incident, to be subpoenaed to testify.
Other demands include heightened security, the presence of only one camera, and the opportunity to share her story after Kavanaugh’s testimony.
A senior Senate staffer tells me that both of these are non-starters.
1. Kavanaugh will testify after Ford so that he can respond to her accusations the staffer told me
2. They will not allow witnesses to dictate who does/doesn't get subpoenaed. https://t.co/cjxtOxhDlr
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 21, 2018
While Republicans on the committee have made their own demands in an effort to speed the process along, Ford’s attorney wrote this week that “there are multiple witnesses” whose testimonies should also be considered.
“The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth,” Lisa Banks argued.
Kavanaugh and Judge have publicly denied Ford’s allegations.
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