Chuck Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser has not yet agreed to testify

Larry Hoffman
September 19, 2018

McConnell and other top GOP leaders repeatedly stressed that Ford deserved to be heard and they hoped she would agree to testify.

"Obviously, if Judge Kavanaugh has lied about what happened that would be disqualifying", Collins said, but she added that she had spoken to Kavanaugh on the phone Friday and he had emphatically denied the allegations.

"There is no reason we should have a public hearing on Monday given what has occurred and when it has occurred", Banks continued.

On Morning Edition Tuesday, Leahy, D-Vt., suggested that another man who was allegedly in the room at the time of the encounter be called before the committee.

The developments evoked memories of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' contentious confirmation hearings in 1991 involving sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by lawyer Anita Hill.

The committee announced yesterday it would postpone its planned vote on Thursday on Mr Kavanaugh's nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, and scheduled the high-stakes hearing with the nominee and his accuser to testify. Kavanaugh has called the allegations "completely false".

But the Department of Justice, referring back to a statement released Monday, says the Federal Bureau of Investigation fulfilled its role by forwarding a letter to the White House Counsel's Office.

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold a public hearing on Monday to hear from both Kavanaugh and Ford, but whether they will - or whether the hearing goes forward - is uncertain. "But I'm not going to look at one thing in this guy's life", Graham said of next Monday's hearing.

According to Bloomberg News, who spoke to a White House official, President Trump's team will continue forward with the nomination, refusing to pull Kavanaugh's name from the nomination, and instead they will try to attack the credibility of the alleged victim. The days of Kavanaugh confirmation hearings were often interrupted by protesters, and Republicans accused Democrats, especially those possible 2020 presidential candidates, of grandstanding.

Feinstein later clarified to reporters that she finds Ford credible, based on what she knowns so far.

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 US court, as Trump seeks to continue his goal of moving the federal judiciary to the right.

"I don't think the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be involved because they don't want to be involved", Trump said.

To counter a letter signed by 65 women who said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh never tried to assault them in high school, more than 200 former classmates of his accuser - including "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus - joined forces to support her.

"I did not ask to be involved in this matter nor did anyone asked me to be involved", Judge said in a written statement forwarded to the committee by his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder.

Trump blamed Democrats for the delay weeks before the US midterm congressional elections on November 6, but he said there was enough time to get his pick confirmed before the elections. The delay makes it increasingly hard for Kavanaugh to win approval by October 1, when the new session of the Supreme Court begins.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation", he said in a statement distributed by the White House.

Debra Katz, the lawyer representing Ford, told CNN Monday her client is willing to testify. She claims Kavanaugh drunkenly held her down, groped her, and attempted to undress her at a party in the early 1980s.

Limiting the hearing to just Kavanaugh and Ford would be "inadequate, unfair, wrong and a desire not to get at the whole truth", Schumer said. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that the committee should delay its vote pending an investigation, Leahy said, "That would make sense".

Ford detailed her story in a letter sent to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein in July. Ford told the Post that she did not tell anyone, including her husband, about the incident until 2012.

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