The Latest: Ford’s lawyers commit to Thursday Senate hearing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her decades ago (all times local):
Attorneys for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are citing “important progress” on a high-stakes public hearing to air out her decades-old sexual assault claim against the Supreme Court nominee.
Her attorneys say they have committed to a 10 a.m. hearing on Thursday and accept the committee’s decision not to subpoena Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford asserts was present when the incident occurred.
But they say the Republican-controlled Senate panel hasn’t said who will be asking questions of her and Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s 11 Republicans — all men — have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford.
Ford’s attorneys say the committee has not indicated when they will respond, but said the remaining “procedural and logistical issues” will “not impede the hearing taking place.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham says Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser will be treated “respectfully” by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but both witnesses “will be challenged” over the sexual assault allegation from decades ago she’s made against the Supreme Court nominee.
Talks continue between the GOP-run committee and Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer over details of a tentative agreement for a hearing Thursday.
Graham says Ford’s lawyers are contesting two conditions for her testimony — that Ford and Kavanaugh will be the only witnesses and that an independent counsel will ask the questions.
The South Carolina Republican tells “Fox News Sunday” that “I hope she comes. I will listen if she does.”
But he adds that “unless there’s something more” to back up her accusation, he’s “not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life over this.”
A Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser deserves a fair hearing to determine whether her allegations of sexual assault are “serious” enough to vote down his Supreme Court nomination.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, acknowledged that lawmakers will “probably not” be able to know the truth of Christine Blasey Ford’s decades-old allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party when they were teenagers.
Durbin indicated that Democrats are likely to ask about Kavanaugh’s drinking history because Ford has alleged Kavanaugh was “stumbling drunk” when it happened.
Durbin told ABC’s “This Week” that some Republicans “reached out to Democratic senators and assured them that they are looking to this as kind of a determination as to how their final vote” on Kavanaugh is cast.
Talks are set to continue on tentative agreement for a Thursday hearing for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation that the Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted her decades ago.
Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford and representatives of the committee came to the tentative agreement late Saturday. Kavanaugh also is set to appear at the hearing.
Some details, such as the order of their testimony, are being negotiated, and talks are expected to continue Sunday.