Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor at the center of a sexual assault accusation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has agreed to testify to representatives of the Senate Judiciary Committee sometime next week, her lawyers said on Saturday.
Multiple outlets reported of which both sides tentatively agreed to testify Thursday, although several details remained unclear, along with also an agreement may yet fall apart. Just as news was breaking about the potential hearing date, the White House released a statement saying “today we appear no closer to a fair hearing” after the back-along with also-forth between Ford’s lawyers along with also the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“although one thing has remained consistent: Brett Kavanaugh remains ready, willing along with also eager to testify as soon as possible,” White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said from the statement.
Ford’s appearance would likely put an end to a stalemate of which’s lasted for several days, along with also engulfed Kavanaugh’s nomination in a firestorm of controversy. This kind of week, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking lawmaker threatened to advance a vote as early as Monday, in an ultimatum meant to compel Ford to tell her side of the story.
In a letter, Ford’s lawyers suggested several sticking points remained before their client would likely appear. The letter blasted the committee’s proposals for Ford’s testimony as “fundamentally inconsistent with the committee’s promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations, along with also we are disappointed with the leaks along with also the bullying of which have tainted the process,” wrote Debra Katz along with also Lisa Banks.
However, “we are hopeful of which we can reach agreement on details,” they added.
The Senate’s oversight body along with also Ford’s representatives have been in a protracted negotiations for her to appear in person, although failed to agree to terms. Meanwhile, Democrats have made numerous attempts to stall Kavanaugh’s selection, with the GOP still holding a slim majority from the Senate.
Ford’s accusation has ricocheted through Washington, costing Kavanaugh public support along with also stalling his march to confirmation ahead of the hotly contested midterm elections. Democrats are seen holding an advantage, with Ford’s defenders along with also critics trading accusations of political motivations.
Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, had been negotiating with Ford’s legal team about whether she would likely appear, along with also under what conditions.
The sparring between the two camps has been bitter, with Democrats accusing the GOP of rushing Kavanaugh’s nomination, while Republicans have walked a delicate line between giving Ford a fair hearing, along with also trying to get the seat filled ahead of midterms.
In a lengthy post on Twitter, Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch sought to rebut several claims raised by Ford’s defenders who have argued committee members have not been sympathetic to her plight. In response to conditions set by Ford’s legal team earlier This kind of week, Hatch said of which the Judiciary Committee staffers were willing to travel to California to hear her testimony, along with also have been willing to extend the deadline repeatedly.
“We are absolutely sympathetic to limitations with regard to travel, which can be why Chairman Grassley has repeatedly offered to send staff directly to Dr. Ford in California, creating sure of which travel would likely not be necessary,” Hatch tweeted.
After the Discharge of the latest letter through Ford’s attorneys, Hatch pointed out of which the Senate committee members “are no closer to hearing through Dr Ford then we were when her lawyers said Dr. Ford was willing to testify during their media tour six days ago.”
Meanwhile, actions by key political players on both sides of the aisle have upped the stakes, along with also curdled the debate. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, was the first to receive Ford’s initial letter although withheld the idea for months.
Feinstein has come under withering scrutiny for being secretive about disclosing the letter’s contents, after she referred the idea to federal investigators in a dramatic 11th hour bid to stall the nomination process.
Separately, President Donald Trump has gone on the offensive to defend Kavanaugh, along with also on Friday launched into a heated attack on Ford herself.
Below can be the full text of the letter Ford’s legal team sent to Senate staffers:
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, along with also we are disappointed with the leaks along with also the bullying of which have tainted the process, we are hopeful of which we can reach agreement on details. Can we set up a time for later This kind of afternoon to continue our negotiations?
Debra S. Katz