The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school in the early 1980s has not confirmed her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, scheduled a hearing to take place on Monday to give both Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford the opportunity to testify about the alleged incident under oath.
“We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours three or four times by email and we have not heard from them, and it kind of raises the question, do they want to come to the public hearing or not?” Grassley said of Ford and her attorneys on The Hugh Hewitt Show Tuesday, according to Fox News.
Asked whether there would be a hearing if Ford declines to appear, Grassley said there may not be a need for one.
“What would be the purpose of the hearing if Dr. Ford doesn’t want to respond?” he said.
Grassley says they've reached out to Christine Blasey Ford "three or four times" via email about the hearing and haven't heard back yet.
"We still haven't heard from Dr. Ford."
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) September 18, 2018
Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, told “CBS This Morning” on Monday that her client would be open to a “fair proceeding.”
“My client will do whatever is necessary to make sure that the Senate Judiciary Committee has the full story and the full set of allegations to allow them to make a fully informed decision,” Katz said. “She’s willing to do what she needs to do.”
“Unfortunately, what we’re already hearing this morning is that the Republicans intend to play hardball. They intend to grill her. This is not an exercise that’s designed to get at the truth. This is an exercise designed to terrify somebody who has already been traumatized.”
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., hopes Ford will appear.
“I don’t know how they can say: I’m just not going to appear. She has the option of a closed session, with cameras or without. We want her to appear,” he told reporters on Tuesday following a meeting of Republican members of the committee. “And then she has said, before we made the decision that she wanted to appear. So that’s what we want.”
Sen. Susan Collin, R-Maine — who does not sit on the committee, but is considered a swing vote in Kavanaugh’s confirmation — is confused by Ford’s unresponsiveness.
“That’s very puzzling to me. I have said from the beginning that these are very serious allegations and she deserves to be heard. She’s now being given an opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and to answer questions and I really hope that she doesn’t pass up that opportunity,” Collins told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, according to The Daily Caller.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Judiciary Committee member, is pushing for a vote next week on Kavanaugh’s confirmation regardless of whether Ford agrees to testify.
“She can come if she likes, but if she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to,” Graham said on Fox News. “Kavanaugh can come, and I think he will. We will vote on Wednesday.”
Politico reported that Grassley has yet to confirm when the committee will vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
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