The Latest: Lawyer: Ford can testify next week if terms fair
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 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.
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.”