Team Ford asks Grassley for yet more time

Hannah Rogers
September 22, 2018

Lawyers for Judge Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, refused Friday to reply in time to meet Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) final deadline to agree to have their client testify.

In an email sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee's staff near the time of the deadline, attorney Debra Katz criticized the panel's Republicans for giving Blasey only until 10 p.m. EDT Friday to decide whether she would testify on Wednesday without numerous conditions she had requested for the hearing.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that if the incident was "as bad" as Ford says, then she or her parents should've contacted the police. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!...

The President previously had avoided naming Professor Ford or plainly casting doubt on her account.

"The most powerful man in the world just used his position and platform to attack a sexual assault survivor", she said on Twitter.

The email said Ford's "strong preference" remains that the committee permit a thorough investigation of her claim before she appears.

Lawyers for the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her say she wants to testify before a Senate panel next week, but only if her safety is ensured.

On Friday, the women speaking in defense of the nominee elaborated they were not trying to "impugn Ford's character or motives", but rather to voice support for a man they know and respect.

The nominee also has wide backing from Republicans, with Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley, the White House, and former President George W. Bush all reaffirming their commitment to his confirmation.

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Hope, who was in town to promote her book about Trump called Just The Tweets, said it's up to Ford to decide whether she should testify. "So I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong". "I want to make sure I've been extremely thorough", she said. She said she was able to escape, but the Washington Post reported that she described the episode to a therapist in 2013 as a "rape attempt".

Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has repeatedly denied the accusation. Blasey Ford is negotiating with Republican committee members about testifying publicly or privately.

Trump also criticized Sessions' handling of immigration, saying he was "disappointed" with the attorney general for "many reasons".

Ms Katz said of her client: "She's been receiving death threats which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and she and her family have been forced out of their home". Ford, through her attorneys, has said she cannot appear Monday but could later in the week.

Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation hangs in the balance.

"What is happening with the Judiciary Committee, really, I would call it a railroad job, " Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, said alongside Gillibrand on Thursday.

The GOP letter to Ford's lawyers said Kavanaugh and his family have received death threats too, "And they're getting worse each day".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played verbal hardball of his own, drawing a standing ovation when he assured a gathering of evangelical activists that the conservative Kavanaugh would soon be a justice.

After saying he wanted senators to take a "little delay" to look into the matter, Trump on Thursday night said of the hearing that it is time to "get on with it".

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