Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation before testimony

Adjust Comment Print

Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before she testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week, her lawyers said in a letter to the panel.

She has asked for an FBI investigation of her claim before she testifies. In the poll, conducted from September 11-17, 36 percent of US adults surveyed did not want Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, up 6 percentage points from a similar poll a month earlier, while 31 percent favored Kavanaugh's appointment. "And in recognition of how hard it can be to discuss allegations of this kind in public, I have also offered her the choice of testifying in either a public or closed session of the hearing", Chuck Grassley said in a letter to lawyers Debra Katz and Lisa Banks.

If Ford opts not to testify, Kavanaugh's chances for confirmation in the Republican-led Senate could be boosted, with senators in Trump's party so far remaining largely supportive.

"Either they don't take this seriously", she said, "or. they just want to get it over".

McCaskill's opponent in the midterm election, Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, said earlier Wednesday on a national conservative talk show that the allegations look to be "an ambush" by Democrats. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday that the committee is following leads provided in Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh and from media reports on the matter.

Banks, in a statement to CNN later Wednesday, said, "The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth".

Kavanaugh, 53, was at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day, but again did not meet with Trump. Thomas denied Hill's account and was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump wrote: "The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President".

The Republican chairman of the Senate committee, Chuck Grassley, wrote to Ford's lawyers, ruling out any Federal Bureau of Investigation role and saying that the sole venue for airing the allegations would be the Senate hearing.

Lawyers for Ford alerted the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she wants the FBI to investigate her allegation before she testifies, a request Republicans are resisting. "However, the committee's stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding".

The FBI has said it is not investigating the matter, a decision backed by Republicans. "We've held up the whole hearing", Trump told reporters.

Wednesday morning, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he's still planning on the hearing happening Monday. The party controls the Senate 51-49 and the Judiciary panel by 11-10, so it can not afford GOP "no" votes.

As for now, Hawley supports Kavanaugh nomination.

The former Democratic presidential nominee said on MSNBC on Tuesday the relevant precedent is the FBI's investigation of Anita Hill's sexual-harassment allegation against Clarence Thomas in 1991.

"There are gaps in her memory", Cornyn said.

Some on the left believe that Ford could become a new icon of the #MeToo campaign against the sexual harassment of women by powerful men. Dianne Feinstein, Calif., the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, for not making an issue of Ford's accusation after she received a letter detailing the claims in July. "That's sort of the first thing that happens, it's the woman's fault".

Ford went public with her story Sunday, telling The Washington Post that Kavanaugh had forced himself on her in a bedroom at a party when he was 17 and she was 15, attempting to remove her clothes and clapping his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.