PoliZette

Yet Another Deadline Extension for Kavanaugh’s Sexual Assault Accuser

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley tweeted out late Friday, 'Dr. Ford, if you changed your mind, say so'

California psychologist Christine Blasey Ford missed several deadlines on Friday to inform lawmakers about whether she will testify or not next week against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

And now she’s been given a new deadline.

The latest deadline is not precisely clear yet — but Ford and her attorneys had requested that a 10 p.m. EST Friday deadline be extended until Saturday.

“Five times now we hv granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w her desire stated one wk ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a tweet late last night, using shorthand as he often does in his tweets. “Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

Grassley added that the committee offered her the option of appearing before a congressional hearing or of speaking to staffers who would travel out to her location in California.

The committee also gave her the choice of a closed or public hearing, along with the deadline extensions.

Ford has said she wanted the FBI to investigate first, but appeared to be open to testifying if her other terms were met.

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

Ford has leveled serious charges at Kavanaugh: She said he sexually assaulted her during a high school party in the early 1980s, when they were both teenagers.

Her 11th-hour allegation has upended an already contentious nomination process since it began to come to light last week.

Kavanaugh has vigorously denied the allegation and said he is eager to testify to clear his name.

The Senate Judiciary Committee launched an investigation when the allegation first came to light last week. Grassley also canceled a committee vote to advance his nomination and set up a hearing to address the allegations for Monday.

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

Grassley extended the deadline to the end of the day when she missed it. Senate Republicans reportedly made a counteroffer to hold the hearing on Wednesday instead, after her lawyers asked for it to be moved to Thursday.

He then extended the deadline in the early evening to 10 p.m. EST on Friday. He tweeted afterward that he had extended the deadline again but did not specify what that new deadline was exactly.

And he tweeted directly at Brett Kavanaugh with this message:

And then he said this, sounding beleagured: “With all the extensions we give Dr. Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate, I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor.”

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had become aware of the alleged incidents weeks earlier, when she received a letter from Ford dated July 30.

Feinstein decided not to reveal the claims publicly or to the committee after Ford requested that the matter remain private.

The letter was leaked to the public without a name included within a week of a scheduled committee vote on whether to advance his nomination to the full Senate. Ford revealed herself to be the accuser days after the information was leaked on September 12.

Related: Kavanaugh Accuser Fears Facing His Female Lawyer

Grassley repeatedly said in response to the controversy that the accuser deserves to be heard and her information assessed.

But he is also among the Republicans who have questioned the timing and the way in which the information was revealed.

Senate Democrats have since called for the nomination process to be stopped until a federal investigation occurs. Before the sexual assault allegation, they called for delaying the process for other reasons, such as unfulfilled record 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, some more moderate lawmakers in red states would have less pressure on them once the election is over.

Grassley also addressed Kavanaugh in a tweet that he hopes he understands the additional deadline extension. Grassley added that he wants to hear from her.

For more context on this story, watch this video:

meet the author

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