Dr Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify about her sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the accusers lawyers have revealed.
News of Ford’s decision to testify came just as the Senate Judiciary Committee’s extension ran out at 2.30pm EST Saturday.
A statement from Ford’s lawyers, posted on Twitter by Washington Post reporter Emma Brown, said: ‘Dr Ford accepts the Committee’s request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week.
‘Although many aspects of the proposal you provided via email, on September 21, 2018, at 2:33 pm, are fundamentally inconsistent with the Committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations, and we are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process, we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement.’
The statement is signed by attorney’s Debra Katz and Lisa Banks.
Dr Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify about her sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the accusers lawyers have revealed
Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley reluctantly granted Ford an extension Friday night, writing in a string of tweets: ‘With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and [Senator Chuck] Schumer is the conductor.’
This came after Grassley rejected Ford’s key concessions under which she would testify and then gave her until 10pm Friday night to come to a ‘reasonable resolution’.
He said if Ford and her lawyers failed to reach a decision his Republican-run panel would vote on sending Kavanaugh’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice by Monday.
But before the 10pm deadline, Ford’s lawyer said her client wants another day to consider terms for testifying about her allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teens.
Attorney Debra Katz called Friday’s deadline ‘arbitrary’, saying ‘its sole purpose is to bully Dr Ford and deprive her of the ability to make a considered decision that has life-altering implications for her and her family.’
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley gave Dr Christine Blasey Ford an extension to decide if she wants to testify against Judge Kavanaugh
Grassley said the panel will vote to confirm Kavanaugh (left) Monday without an agreement between Ford’s (right) lawyers and the Senate Judiciary Committee
Senator Chuck Grassley tweeted to Brett Kavanaugh that he is granted Dr Ford an extension
Earlier Friday he gave Dr Ford until 10pm Friday to decide
He appeared reluctant to grant the extension to decide if she wants to testify against Brett Kavanaugh
Now a 53-year-old California psychology professor, Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations and has said he would testify to clear his name. Ford wants to appear later in the week.
Grassley wrote: ‘Five times now we [have] granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] her desire stated one [week] ago that she wants to tell senate her story Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.’
In a followup tweet, addressed to Judge Kavanaugh, Grassley wrote: ‘Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She [should] decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to [be] indecisive.’
The latter tweet confused some Twitter users, who speculated the tweet was meant to be a direct text.
Ford met with the FBI for several hours about death threats she has received and wants to consider her response until at least Saturday.
Grassley had said if no agreement is reached the panel may vote Monday on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
He turned down Ford’s request that only senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions.
He also rejected her proposal that she testify after Kavanaugh, a position lawyers consider advantageous because it gives them a chance to rebut accusations.
‘We are unwilling to accommodate your unreasonable demands,’ Grassley said earlier Friday.
Grassley sent Ford’s attorneys a proposal earlier Friday offering a Wednesday hearing – Ford preferred Thursday – and said, ‘It is not fair to him or to his family to allow this situation to continue without a resolution and without an opportunity for him to clear his name.’
In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh stands with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley R-Iowa, during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill
Grassley said he was rebuffing Ford’s proposals that she testify after Kavanaugh and that only senators, not outside counsel, be allowed to ask questions.
The committee’s 11 Republicans – all men – have been seeking an outside female attorney to interrogate Ford, mindful of the election-season impression that could be left by men trying to pick apart a woman’s assertion of a sexual attack.
He also refused to call additional witnesses.
Ford wants an appearance by Mark Judge, a Kavanaugh friend who Ford asserts was at the high school party and in the bedroom where Kavanaugh’s assault occurred. Ford eventually escaped.
Grassley said he’d consented to several other Ford demands, including that she be provided security and that Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies.
Friday was the latest in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court seemed a sure bet until Ford emerged last weekend and provided details of the alleged assault.
Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has repeatedly denied the accusation.