Quantcast
Connect with us

Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford has not agreed to testify: senator

Published

on

A Republican U.S. Senate committee chairman said on Tuesday the woman who has accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault decades ago has not yet agreed to appear at a public hearing planned for Monday.

Senator Chuck Grassley said Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California whose allegations have put Kavanaugh’s once-safe nomination in serious jeopardy, has not responded to attempts by the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the confirmation process, to contact her.

ADVERTISEMENT

The hearing represents a potential make-or-break moment for the conservative federal appeals court judge’s confirmation chances for the lifetime post on the top U.S. court, as Trump seeks to continue his goal of moving the federal judiciary to the right. Kavanaugh, who has denied the assault allegation, met with officials at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day.

“We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours, three or four times by email, and we’ve not heard from them. So it kind of raises the question … do they want to come to (the) public hearing or not?” Grassley said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“I want to hear from Dr. Ford,” Grassley said. “And she deserves to be heard because these are serious accusations. And I would surely hope she’d come Monday. I mean, after all, read all the details she put in the Washington Post. She’s surely prepared. She hired a lawyer, I understand, back in August.”

Ford detailed her allegation in a letter sent in July to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat. The letter’s contents leaked last week and Ford identified herself in an interview with the Washington Post published on Sunday that included details about the alleged assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

The committee announced on Monday it would postpone its planned vote on Thursday on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, and scheduled the high-stakes hearing on Monday with the nominee and his accuser to testify.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of trying to attack her and remove her clothing while he was drunk 36 years ago in a Maryland suburb outside Washington when they were students at different high schools.

Debra Katz, a lawyer representing Ford, said in television interviews on Monday that the professor would be willing to testify and called the alleged incident “attempted rape.” Katz did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Grassley said the hearing would be televised and would include just two witnesses, Ford and Kavanaugh. He questioned whether the hearing would take place if Ford declined to appear.

“What would be the purpose of the hearing if Dr. Ford doesn’t want to respond?” Grassley asked.

Democrats have so far also refused to cooperate with the committee’s Republican leadership. They have asked that the FBI conduct an investigation, a request that Republicans have rebuffed. Grassley said on Tuesday that “the FBI is not doing any further investigation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Feinstein said on Tuesday there should be more than just two witnesses, possibly to include people who Ford previously confided in. “This is another attempt by Republicans to rush this nomination and not fully vet Judge Kavanaugh,” Feinstein said in a statement.

The confirmation fight comes just weeks before the Nov. 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to take control of Congress from Trump’s party, which could be a major blow to the president’s agenda.

‘BASIC STEPS’
The showdown has echoes of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ contentious confirmation hearings in 1991 involving sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by a law professor named Anita Hill. Thomas was ultimately confirmed, but only after a nasty televised hearing in which Hill faced pointed questions from Republican senators and the nominee said he was the victim of “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Feinstein said late on Monday that with Hill’s allegations the FBI had carried out an investigation.

Grassley offered his assurance that Ford would be treated respectfully and not badgered during the hearing. All 11 Republicans on the committee are men. Four of the 10 Democrats are women.

Grassley said details about how the hearing would be conducted had not been worked out, including parameters for panel members posing questions or the possibility that committee Republicans could choose a single questioner.

ADVERTISEMENT

Inside the White House, plans are not currently being made in case Kavanaugh’s confirmation unravels, including identifying a potential replacement nominee, according to a source familiar with the nomination process who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It would be unjust and foolhardy to think of any Plan B until this matter is completely resolved,” the source said.

Republicans control the Senate by only a narrow margin, meaning any defections could sink the nomination and deal a major setback to Trump. Trump picked Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sided with the court’s liberal wing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump snaps at media for reporting on his ‘chosen one’ comment — and not knowing he was trying to be funny

Published

on

Donald Trump broke his embargo on talking about his highly-derided claim that he is the "chosen one," claiming the media should be able to tell when he is being funny or not.

In two tweets from France where he is attending the G7 conference, Trump called reporting on his claim of divinity "fake news."

"When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said 'I am the chosen one,' at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a 'Messiah complex.'" he wrote. "They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just....having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH...And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust! "

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump sent the stock market into a free fall right after the Fed chair gave it hope

Published

on

Investors were briefly cheered Friday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave some moderate reassurances that the central bank is prepared to use its resources to fight a potential economic downturn. But President Donald Trump quickly dashed any air of positivity, lashing out at Powell, China, and American companies in a frantic series of tweets, leading to a dramatic plunge in stock prices.

Speaking in Jackson Hole Friday morning, Powell did not definitively announce any further plans for rate cuts or other accommodative measures, like quantitative easing. But he suggested he was taking worries about the economy seriously, saying that the Fed “will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Understanding our bully-in-chief: Donald Trump’s ‘antisocial personality disorder’ fits a pattern

Published

on

I wasn’t surprised by Donald Trump’s rage-tweet attack on Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, any more than I was surprised by the maturity and sobriety of their response. After all, Trump’s racism is legendary, and telling them to “go back where you came from” is not just textbook racism, it’s a schoolyard bully’s taunt. And a racist schoolyard bully is the sum and substance of what Trump is.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image