Deadline Passes, Senate Awaits Word On Christine Blasey Ford Testimony

Deadline Passes, Senate Awaits Word On Christine Blasey Ford Testimony

A woman who has accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify before a Senate panel next week but details of her appearance have not been finalized, her lawyers said on Saturday.

Grassley has said the hearing should take place on Wednesday, but Ford said she wanted it on Thursday at the earliest and to be able to call as a witness a man whom she says was present during the assault.

The Senate Judiciary Committee had delayed a vote on Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation after Ms Ford's allegations emerged last week.

The Republican lawmaker said Blasey's allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers wasn't credible because she couldn't remember all the details 35 years later, the Des Moines Register reported.

Earlier Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told "Fox News Sunday" that Ford's lawyers were still contesting two GOP conditions - that Ford and Kavanaugh would be the only witnesses and that an independent counsel would ask the questions.

The correspondence reveals the behind-the-scenes work of the Republican-led committee as it attempts to investigate Ford's accusations, even though it could affect the outcome of Kavanaugh's appointment to the nation's highest court.

Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican and potentially a key vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, said at an event in Portland, Maine, that she was "appalled" by Trump's tweet. I want to hear her.

"Following Dr. Ford's testimony, Judge Kavanaugh will appear again before the committee", according to a statement from the committee.

Approval of Kavanaugh would cement conservative control of the Supreme Court and advance a White House effort to tilt the American judiciary farther to the right.

On Friday, President Donald Trump sought to cast doubt on Ford's allegation. Senate GOP leaders have argued that they have been very accommodating to Ford's requests, while Democrats say Republicans have bullied Ford with unreasonable deadlines.

"If one Republican senator should decide that Dr Ford's allegations, assertions, are true, and that they are serious, it could make a big difference in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh", Durbin said.

In a related development, former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich has been added to Ford's legal team.

Just 40 percent of registered voters surveyed from September 16-19 believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed, while 50 percent oppose him - the lowest level of support for a Supreme Court nominee since Fox News started polling in 2005.

Some "procedural and logistical" questions have yet to be resolved, including whether Ford will face questions from attorneys on the committee staff or senators themselves, Ford's lawyers said.

Ford also identified another Georgetown Prep student by his initials "PJ", and later Patrick J. Smyth, a fellow 1983 grad of the North Bethesda, Maryland all-boys school, came forward to respond to Ford's charge.

Republicans, who hold a paper-thin majority in the Senate, can ill afford defections if Kavanaugh is to be approved.

In a statement late Saturday, the White House addressed the specifics of Ford's case: it said the four other people Ford claimed were at the party where the incident allegedly occurred all denied "any knowledge of the incident or having attended such a party".

The agreement sets the stage for a dramatic showdown as Kavanaugh and Ford each tell their side of the story.

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