Blasey Ford Wants FBI Probe Into Kavanaugh Allegation Before Testifying
- Alfred Griffith
Trading accusations, Democratic and Republican senators quarreled Tuesday over who will testify at what promises to be a dramatic and emotional hearing next Monday with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who says he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
"As the judiciary committee has recognized and done before, an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations", reads a letter Ford's lawyers sent to Sen. In the letter, Ford said she had received medical treatment after the assault, adding that "it is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything".
"We can not brush aside these extraordinarily serious allegations in an unseemly rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to a lifetime seat", Leahy said in a separate statement issued later Monday morning.
The Justice Department said in a statement late Monday that the accusation against Kavanaugh "does not involve any potential federal crime".
Grassley's decision echoed the sentiment of Sen.
This story has been corrected to show the party breakdown on the Senate Judiciary Committee is 11-10 in favour of Republicans, not 12-11 in favour of Republicans. In their letter to Wray and McGahn, they ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interview Kavanaugh, Ford and other relevant witnesses.
Ford recounted the incident in couples therapy back in 2012, while her therapist jotted down notes, indicating that she didn't just come forward with these allegation after Kavanaugh was nominated.
Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, issued statements supporting Ford's concerns about the hearing.
"Nobody should be subject to threats and intimidation, and Dr. Ford is no exception".
However, Collins has also said that if it turns out Kavanaugh is lying, that's disqualifying. "Only then should the chairman set a hearing date".
The allegation, which Mr Kavanaugh has denied, emerged days before the Senate Judiciary Committee is due to vote on his appointment to the Supreme Court. She said she got away when a companion of Kavanaugh's jumped on him. He stressed that Kavanaugh is eager to provide his testimony.
Democrats, already fiercely opposed to Kavanaugh, whose confirmation could consolidate the conservative grip on the top US court, had demanded a delay in the committee's vote to let the FBI investigate.
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But then around 5 p.m., the family's lawyers were alerted to some apparent breaking news in the investigation into Jean's death. David Menschel, an Oregon-based criminal defense attorney and activist, called the release of the search warrant "propaganda".
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Two dozen women from the all-girls Holton Arms school where Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford attended have written the Senate to vouch for her integrity. Nineteen years later, Democratic Senators Ted Kennedy and Joseph Biden led an effort to defeat President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the court.
Republicans aggressively questioned Hill, who is also black, suggesting that she had made up the unwelcome advances from Thomas and trying to raise doubts about her stability.
"A delay is certainly acceptable", Trump said in his Oval Office remarks. "They have done now, supposedly, six background checks as Judge Kavanaugh has gone beautifully up a ladder".
Another friend, Julie Devol, said: "I knew him since 1980, this is not his personality". "I feel terribly for them".
"We have to create an environment where women can come forward and be heard and be listened to", she said. And unlike past cases where prominent figures have been under fire for sexual misconduct allegations, like in the case of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, many Republicans are not jumping ship.
The situation could draw parallels with Justice Clarence Thomas' 1991 confirmation hearings when he faced allegations of sexual harassment from Anita Hill. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. "He stands ready to testify tomorrow if the Senate is ready to hear him", the White House said before Grassley's announcement. She said there are still a lot of questions, and "we need to know what happened".
According to Ford, Kavanaugh was "stumbling drunk" at the time. "We should not have gotten to this point". Or this dirt dredged up and this gossip and these lies displayed in this manner? "And she deserves to be heard because these are serious accusations".
In the week since Feinstein legitimized the letter's existence, the response to Ford's account has been damning.
Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.
Upending decorum has never been Feinstein's style, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a public policy professor at the University of Southern California. "We were going through all of that process". Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told reporters that there is a risk in being too aggressive or appearing to bully Ford.
Underscoring the raw political divisions prompted by the Kavanaugh fight, Feinstein said she'd only learned of the hearing on Twitter.
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