The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during a 1980s high school party might be willing to speak in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but only under her terms, according to a published report Thursday.
Those terms include rejecting the proposed Monday date for a hearing at which accuser Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh would each testify, The New York Times reported.
Kavanaugh has rejected the allegations from the moment they were first made public. Fox News reported that Kavanaugh spoke with Republican committee staffers under oath this week and denied the claims. Democratic staff would not participate, according to the report.
The Times said its report was based on an email from Debra Katz, Ford’s attorney.
NEW: Text of e-mail from Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer to Senate Judiciary Committee. pic.twitter.com/UlRZVEUhxm
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) September 20, 2018
The email said a Monday hearing “is not possible and the Committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event.”
According to the email, Ford has a “strong preference” that “a full investigation” occur before she testifies. However, the email does not present as a demand that the FBI fully investigate her claims before she appears.
The email stressed that Ford must be protected because “she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home.”
“She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety,” it said.
The Washington Post reported that although Katz ruled out Monday in the email, a hearing with Ford “early next week” was possible.
Clever maneuver from Ford team: Senate Judiciary Committee rules require consent of the minority for chairman to schedule a hearing with less than one week notice. So now, without Dem consent, earliest hearing could be is next Thursday. https://t.co/gqcs3SUI9e pic.twitter.com/aaRw3BE3ZS
— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 20, 2018
The lawyer’s comments came as Senate Republicans were saying that if Ford did not wish to speak, there was no reason to delay a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. GOP senators gave Ford, who had not replied to invitations to appear, until Friday to make a decision.
“If she doesn’t want to participate and tell her story, there’s no reason for us to delay,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said. “I think it all depends on what she decides to do. We’ve all made clear this is her chance.”
A spokesman for the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, offered little about the Iowa Republican’s intentions after the Katz email was made public Thursday.
“We’re glad to hear back, but that’s about the extent to which we can comment,” spokesman George Hartmann said, according to The Times.
Cornyn and other Republicans have said there is no need for more hearings and more witnesses.
This letter from Grassley to committee Dems is 🔥🔥🔥
Whatever you think of Ford's story, the Democrats could not have handled this any worse if they tried. pic.twitter.com/TAsUC4PPxf
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 20, 2018
That attitude was attacked Wednesday by Sen. Mazie Hirono, who said the only thing on the minds of Republican senators is protecting President Doanld Trump.
“Anything that gets in the way of fast-tracking Judge Kavanaugh’s ascent to the Supreme Court is not where the Republicans are,” the Hawaii Democrat said, according to Newsweek.
“They are in a rush to get this man on the court, why? Because for one thing the president is an unindicted co-conspirator and he would like to have somebody on the court who he thinks is going to protect him from criminal and civil proceedings while he is there sitting as president,” Hirono said. “That is a major incentive, I’d say.”
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