Brett Kavanaugh accuser rejects hearing for now

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That now means that Ford is almost certain to tell her story publicly sometime next week.

An attorney for Christine Blasey Ford said Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is unnecessarily rushing toward a hearing by pushing for her to testify about her allegation of sexual assault against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Mike Davis, the committee's chief staffer for nominations, tweeted twice overnight about his key role in the committee's review of Christine Blasey Ford's allegation, as well as criticism of Ford's attorneys and his desired outcome of the process.

Late Tuesday, Lisa Banks and lawyer Democrat activist lawyer Debra Katz said Ms. Ford wants the FBI to investigate her claims before she appears at a Senate hearing.

"Although many aspects of the proposal you provided via email, on (Friday) are fundamentally inconsistent with the committee's promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations, and we are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process, we are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details", read the lawyers' letter cited by The Washington Post.

"However, the Committee's stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding".

It is possible Ford will be open to testifying sometime next week about the allegation, though the conditions under which she would do so have not yet been determined.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News.

President Donald Trump's Republican Party has a challenge to maintain control of Congress in November's mid-term elections | AFP
President Donald Trump's Republican Party has a challenge to maintain control of Congress in November's mid-term elections | AFP

What are Ford's lawyers saying?

"Someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate her claims".

Speaking with reporters at the White House, the president again refrained from directly assailing Kavanaugh's accuser, as he has in other instances of sexual misconduct charges, including those lodged against him.

Hirono said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day" that committee is setting up a situation "where there is not even a modicum of fairness extended" to Ford without a proper FBI investigation into the incident.

Moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of ME, who's had her share of clashes with Trump, said she hoped Ford would reconsider a decision not to testify and "it's not fair to Judge Kavanaugh" if she refuses.

"We should take the time to get [this] right", he said. That echoed Democrats' effort to broaden the nomination fight into a referendum on whether women who allege abuse are taken seriously by men - a theme that could echo in this November's elections for control of Congress. The party controls the Senate 51-49 and the Judiciary panel by 11-10, so it can not afford GOP "no" votes.

Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, sounded bullish about the prospects of confirming the nominee, who would be expected to bring a more conservative tilt to America's highest court.

"They are totally intent on getting Judge Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, come hell or high water", said Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, who touted a letter of support for Ford signed by more than 1,000 women who graduated from the Maryland school Ford attended in the 1980s.

Asked his response to Democrats, he told reporters Wednesday, "A simple answer to that would be why didn't Dianne Feinstein send the request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July the 30th instead of now?"

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