Politics

Kavanaugh Accuser Refuses to Testify Before the FBI Launches Probe

Christine Blasey Ford won't appear before Senate Judiciary Committee as high court nominee's confirmation process remains uncertain

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser is now refusing to testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and face an “interrogation” about her sexual assault allegations — that is, until the FBI conducts a “full investigation,” according to her lawyers.

“A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a nonpartisan manner, and that the committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Ford’s attorneys also lashed out at the committee. They wrote, “While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”

“The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up,'” the lawyers added. “While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the committee and with law enforcement officials.”

Ford completely derailed the final days of Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation process when she publicly accused him this past Sunday of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago at a party in Maryland, when they were both teens in high school.

She initially detailed her allegations to Feinstein through her congresswoman, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), in July, wishing to remain anonymous.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now officially delayed until Kavanaugh and Ford have the chance to testify publicly.

Although Kavanaugh agreed to testify on September 24, Ford will not testify without an FBI investigation.

Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied Ford’s accusations, saying he has “never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone.”

“Any chance for a fair investigation has already been polluted, because as most lawyers and your viewers understand, you don’t start with The Washington Post exposé and then investigate,” attorney Helgi Walker, who worked with Kavanaugh in the White House counsel’s office under former President George W. Bush’s administration, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Tuesday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“That’s not how investigations work if the process — the chance to have actually a fair investigation where the FBI can do its job the way it’s supposed to — has already been destroyed by the way the Senate Democrats have handled these allegations,” Walker added.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday at the White House, “I don’t think the FBI should be involved because they don’t want to be involved,” adding, “If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that.”

Grassley responded Tuesday evening to Ford’s lawyers’ letter, insisting there was “no reason” to delay the testimony.

“Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” Grassley said in a statement.

“We’ve offered Dr. Ford the opportunity to share her story with the committee, as her attorney said yesterday she was willing to do,” Grassley noted. “We offered her a public or private hearing as well as staff-led interviews, whichever makes her more comfortable. The invitation for Monday still stands.”

“The Democrats from day one have said that they are not going to be supporting Kavanaugh. For a very long period of time they were even refusing to take meetings with him,” Schlapp said.

Walker told Ingraham, “There are a lot of missing elements of the story, and that’s why [Ford] was offered an opportunity to come forward and testify and tell her story, which is what her lawyer said she wanted to do.”

“If you’re going to make an allegation like this, you cannot — you can’t hide,” Walker added.

Nicole DeBorde, a former sex crimes prosecutor, told Ingraham that Ford’s refusal to testify prior to an FBI investigation “is a really interesting wrinkle as well.”

Related: Who Is Christine Blasey Ford, Really? Six Things You Must Know

“It sounds like what they’re doing is giving her an opportunity to tell her story, and now she says, ‘I want to wait.’ This is an interesting wrinkle,” DeBorde added. “I do think that it’s better for everyone if she has the chance to air whatever it is that she has to say. The reputation damage has already been done. [Kavanaugh] might as well have an opportunity to rebut it.”

After Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Tuesday that Kavanaugh’s nomination should be withdrawn in light of Ford’s allegations, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp told Ingraham, “This is the most predictable playbook for the Democrats.”

“The Democrats from day one have said that they are not going to be supporting Kavanaugh. For a very long period of time they were even refusing to take meetings with him,” Schlapp said.

“And then they wait at the last minute for Sen. Feinstein to come up with this letter from this accuser on Brett Kavanaugh after we’ve seen 32 hours of testimony by Judge Kavanaugh, after they’ve had closed committee hearings and after they’ve given him over 1,000 written questions?” Schlapp added. “It’s very clear that it is the politics and the delay tactics of the Democrats keep pushing forward.”

After Ingraham asked three times whether Trump and White House officials will insist that the hearing go forward Monday, Schlapp dodged, saying, “We are going to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to make these decisions. It is in their hands.”

“They are trying to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation,” Schlapp added. “We stand by Judge Kavanaugh.”

(photo credit, article image: Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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