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Christine Blasey Ford Finally Agrees to Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Important details must still be worked out, but there appears to be a basic understanding in place for the days ahead

Lawyers for the individual who has accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from more than three decades ago have agreed in spirit on Saturday to meet for a hearing to discuss her claims.

“Dr. Ford accepts the committee’s request to provide her firsthand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct next week,” wrote Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, the attorneys representing Ford, in a message to the committee.

The exact terms and timing of such testimony are uncertain as of this moment.

But even with that agreement, the attorneys said that they “are disappointed with the leaks and the bullying that have tainted the process,” Ford’s lawyers said, in a letter CNBC obtained.

“We are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details,” the letter also said.

Christine Blasey Ford, a psychologist from California, has accused President Donald Trump’s nominee to the high court of sexually assaulting her back in the early 1980s, while he was drunk at a high school party.

Kavanaugh has denied such a thing ever occurred — and has said he is eager to testify to clear his name.

The allegations against him piled onto an already contentious confirmation process.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) launched an investigation and canceled a committee vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination ever since the allegations came to light last week.

He also set up a hearing to address the sexual assault claims from the alleged victim for Monday.

Related: Yet Another Deadline Extension for Kavanaugh’s Sexual Assault Accuser

Ford was asked to reply to the invitation by sending prepared testimony and a biography before a morning deadline Friday.

That deadline was extended to the end of the day when she missed it. The deadline was extended again to late that night — but by that point there was still no agreement, so it was extended yet again.

Grassley added that the committee offered Ford the option of going before a congressional hearing or to have staff sent to her in California. The committee also gave her the choice of a closed or public hearing, along with pushing the event back to Wednesday. Ford has said she wanted the FBI to investigate first but appeared to be open to testifying if other terms were met.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) became aware of the alleged incidents weeks and weeks ago — after receiving a letter from Ford that was dated July 30. Feinstein decided not to reveal the claims publicly or to the committee after Ford requested the matter remain private.

Democrats could also potentially improve their chances of stopping Kavanaugh if they’re able to delay a final vote until after the midterm elections.

The letter was leaked to the public without a name included with it, within a week of a scheduled committee vote on whether to advance the Kavanaugh nomination to the full Senate.

Ford revealed herself to be the accuser days after the information was leaked September 12.

Related: Kavanaugh’s Sexual Assault Accuser Misses Another Committee Deadline

Grassley repeatedly said in response to the controversy that the accuser deserved to be heard, though he’s questioned the timing of the accusations’ coming to light. Senate Democrats have since called for the nomination process to be stopped until a federal investigation takes place.

Before the sexual assault allegations had emerged, they called for delaying the process because of different issues such as unfulfilled records requests and legal issues related to President Donald Trump.

Democrats could also potentially improve their chances of stopping Kavanaugh if they’re able to delay a final vote until after the midterm elections.

Not only could they potentially get enough votes to block his nomination — but some more moderate lawmakers in red states would also have less pressure on them once the election is over.

meet the author

Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].