The Latest: Ford prefers to testify next Thursday, aide says
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her decades ago (all times local):
A Senate aide says Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer told the Judiciary Committee she prefers to testify next Thursday and doesn’t want Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the room.
Attorney Debra Katz outlined five points during a call late Thursday with committee staff ahead of Ford’s possible appearance. The aide was unauthorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ford and Kavanaugh were invited to appear Monday about her allegation that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
The attorney raised questions about security that staff said would be provided by Capitol Police and press access they said would be similar to during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.
She also wants the committee to subpoena Mark Judge, who Ford has said was present for the alleged assaulted.
— By AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro
Women who attended Christine Blasey Ford’s high school have delivered a letter in support of her to senators as she faces scrutiny over her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted when they were teens.
Organizers say more than 1,000 women from the school signed the letter. The women say they believe Ford, calling her accusation “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived” while going to the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.
Some of the women who signed the letter delivered it personally Thursday to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican who also graduated from the Holton-Arms School.
Alumna Alexis Goldstein says word of the letter spread through social media and personal networks. She describes Ford as courageous.
Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s accusation.
The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating threats against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his family amid an accusation that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were teens.
The threats were confirmed Thursday by a senior administration official at the White House who was not authorized to speak publicly and disclosed the news on condition of anonymity.
The official says the threats were made in emails to Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, and came from one person. The one being investigated uses vulgar language and suggests violence.
Ford, now a professor in California, has also faced death threats since going public with her story. Her attorney says she’s had to relocate her family.
Ford claims Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the accusation.
— By AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro
More than 50 protesters opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been arrested on Capitol Hill.
The protesters on Thursday swarmed a range of Senate offices, including those of Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins, a key Republican swing vote.
Kavanaugh is accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford decades ago when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.
The protesters chanted, in part: “We believe Christine Ford!”
Twenty-three people were arrested Thursday morning for unlawful demonstrations. They were charged with violating the Washington, D.C., law that makes it illegal to obstruct the entrances and passageways of public buildings.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki says an additional 33 people were arrested Thursday afternoon on the same charge.
A lawyer for a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sex assault decades ago says she’d be willing to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week if they can agree to terms “that are fair and which ensure her safety.”
The email from an attorney for Christine Blasey Ford to committee aides also says that holding the session on Monday isn’t possible. Panel chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said Monday would be her chance to testify.
Ford’s lawyers have said she’s received death threats.
Ford has said she wants the FBI to investigate her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s. He denies it.
Lawyer Debra Katz writes that Ford’s “strong preference” remains a full investigation before she testifies.
Groups fighting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court say a Judiciary Committee lawyer’s tweet shows Republicans are biased against Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault.
Mike Davis, the chief counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, tweeted late Wednesday that he had personally interviewed Kavanaugh as part of the committee’s review but was “still waiting” for Ford’s lawyers to get back to him.
He wrote: “Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh.” The tweets have since been deleted.
The tone was a more forceful admission of the GOP’s push to confirm Kavanaugh with or without Ford’s testimony. Ford has been invited to testify Monday, but it’s uncertain if she’ll appear.
Davis says he deleted the tweets “to avoid any further misinterpretation by left wing media.”
Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York says Republicans are “bullying” a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Gillibrand and Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii held a news conference Thursday with alumnae from the Holton-Arms School. That’s the Maryland all-girls school that Christine Blasey Ford attended in the early 1980s, when she says she was assaulted by Kavanaugh. He denies the allegation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Monday hearing with Ford and Kavanaugh. Ford wants an FBI investigation done before testifying, but President Donald Trump and Republicans have rebuffed her.
Gillibrand says it’s “bullying” for Republicans to say Ford must show up Monday or not at all. She says they want a “he said, she said” scenario because men are usually believed.
Demonstrators have congregated in a Senate office building to protest Republicans’ handling of the sexual-assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
A group of roughly 100 people marched to the office of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday for a sit-in, some with fists raised.
The Iowa Republican senator plans a hearing on Monday for testimony from Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford, if she appears. Ford and Democrats want the FBI to investigate her allegations Kavanaugh assaulted her three decades ago, but Republicans are refusing.
The demonstrators chanted, “We believe Anita Hill! We believe Christine Ford!” Some told Grassley aides they themselves have been victims of harassment.
Hill is the law professor who during the Senate’s 1991 consideration of Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination accused him of sexual harassment.
Thomas and Kavanaugh have denied the accusations against them.
Republicans are warning that time is running out for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser to tell Congress about her claim that he sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley says his panel still plans a Monday morning hearing that Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are invited to attend.
Grassley has told Ford’s attorneys that the panel is giving the California psychology professor until 10 a.m. Friday to submit a biography and prepared statement “if she intends to testify” Monday.
It remains unclear whether Ford will attend or if the hearing will occur without her.
A statement by a Ford attorney, Lisa Banks, says Grassley’s plan to call just two witnesses, Kavanaugh and Ford, “is not a fair or good faith investigation.”