Conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh appeared set to sail through Senate confirmation for the vacancy on the nation's top court until a California professor publicly accused him of having sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers nearly four decades ago.
Now, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has responded, telling Ford's attorneys in a letter of his own that he is willing to make the hearing private, but not to delay it past September 24. Grassley wrote to Ford's lawyers Debra Katz and Lisa Banks Wednesday to ask for an answer about the prospect of her attending the hearing Monday.
He wrapped up by saying that if Democrats were to try not to vote, that they'd be shirking their duty. "This just came out 48 hours ago".
Ford revealed her identity on Sunday in a Washington Post interview. "Every shred of evidence points to the fact that Dr. Ford, who has everything to lose and nothing to gain from this vicious process, is telling the truth, and that Brett Kavanaugh has lied over and over again".
"I'd really want to see her".
Would an FBI investigation change her testimony?
The president could act on Blasey Ford's request for an FBI investigation.
"The FBI does not make a credibility assessment of any information it receives with respect to a nominee". The letter is signed, "Love, Brett". Feinstein later announced she had given the letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
She claimed he, now a leading judge, pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing. He has unequivocally denied that the incident occurred, even claiming that he was not at the party in question.
Colleagues and former students described her as competent and laid back, someone who is sure of her own footing and who balances work and family.
Lawyers for Ford, 51, say now that they want a broader FBI investigation first, rather than a one-day hearing which Democrats say will be used by Republicans as a fig leaf before going ahead with Kavanaugh's confirmation vote.
Ford has backtracked from earlier statements that she is ready to face a grilling in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats had two farking months to push this accusation and demand an extended hearing, which the calendar easily would have accommodated.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Washington.
"We'll have to make a decision". We will delay the process until it's finished out. "I sincerely hope that Dr. Ford will accept my invitation to do so, either privately or publicly, on Monday", Grassley wrote. This abuse must stop.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, also supported Ford's proposal.
If the FBI wants to investigate things that need investigation there is much behavior from the Bill and Hillary Clinton era that would keep agents busy and produce results of interest to the public and law enforcement, including alleged Chinese hacking of Hillary's emails while she was secretary of State, Uranium One scandal, foreign gifts to the Clinton Foundation and so much more. Dr. Ford's life has already been badly disrupted by death threats and other intimidation. "We should proceed as planned".