Kavanaugh accuser wants Federal Bureau of Investigation probe before she will testify

Hannah Rogers
September 19, 2018

A woman who has accused President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault decades ago wants her allegations to be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation before she appears at a US Senate hearing, one of her lawyers said on Tuesday.

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) listens during a markup hearing September 13 before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Feinstein has demanded that the confirmation vote be postponed until the FBI investigates claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The letter also confirmed earlier reports that Ford, a mother of two teenagers, was targeted with death threats after she came forward with her allegations against Kavanaugh.

The judiciary committee had called a hearing for Monday to look into the allegations.

The comedic performance by the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats earlier this month during the Kavanaugh hearings, which appeared at the time to be the worst they could muster, sadly turned out only to be prelude to what now is taking place.

Democrats, already fiercely opposed to the nominee, have also been seeking an FBI investigation, a request that Republicans have rebuffed.

"I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as "PJ" who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post", Smyth said in his letter, CNN reported.

It is not what one might have expected from a president who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct from more than a dozen women and who blew off candid remarks about groping women as "locker room talk".

If the Judiciary committee's timetable slips further, it would become increasingly hard for Republicans to schedule a vote before the November 6 elections, in which congressional control will be at stake.

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Many Democrats argue Judge should be invited to testify before the committee.

She was referring to the woman who testified in 1991 against Justice Clarence Thomas when he was a nominee over workplace sexual harassment claims.

"I'd like to see 21 members of our committee listen patiently to both witnesses", Grassley said, "and kind of act like a jury and then wait until you hear all the evidence, and then make your mind up afterwards".

"Monday is her opportunity", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said yesterday, a line that was echoed by other Republicans throughout the day.

Ford thus all but ruled out testifying Monday. The delay makes it increasingly hard for Kavanaugh to win approval by October 1, when the new session of the Supreme Court begins. "She's willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth, yes".

Democrats on the committee say Grassley is rushing the confirmation process and are calling on the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation, which would include questioning Kavanaugh, Ford, and Judge on the incident. Quoting Justice Thomas from his nomination hearing, Mr. Feehery said this seems like another "high-tech lynching", this time "of a white Irish Catholic guy". According to the Journal: "The more relevant question is why go to such lengths if Ms. Ford really wanted her name to stay a secret?"

The accusation, which Kavanaugh has denied, is consuming Washington, where the nomination's fate is suddenly in limbo.

Grassley said it isn't even 100 percent certain at this point whether Ford or Kavanaugh will testify first, though he is inclined to have Ford go first. Some, including Grassley, have questioned the fairness of making Kavanaugh withdraw his nomination for an assault that, if true, he would have committed at 17 (the other side contends that if the alleged assault occurred, no matter when it was, Kavanaugh shouldn't be appointed to a potentially lifetime position).

The FBI said in statement on Monday night that last Wednesday it received a letter dated from July concerning the allegation, and forwarded it to the White House counsel. The Supreme Court nominee denies committing the assault that Ford described.

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