Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify
WASHINGTON — The woman whose sexual assault allegation threatens to bring down US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has agreed to testify in the Senate, her lawyers said on Saturday, setting up a dramatic showdown next week.
Christine Blasey Ford’s decision followed days of negotiations and came after Trump turned against her and said her accusation could not be true.
After the Senate Judiciary Committee received a message from Ford’s lawyers, several members confirmed she had accepted their committee’s request to testify.
“Doctor Blasey Ford will testify next week. She has shown tremendous courage in the face of death threats and harassment and deserves respect as final details for the hearing are worked out,” Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein tweeted.
Hours later, multiple media outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast reported the hearing would take place on Thursday, citing sources familiar with a phone call between the committee and Ford’s lawyers.
The committee’s Republican leader Chuck Grassley had wanted the hearing to take place on Wednesday, but Ford asked that it be held on Thursday at the earliest and to be able to call as a witness a man she says was present during the assault.
The tentative deal capped a day of frenetic developments, with time running out for Trump to get his handpicked conservative judge confirmed — thereby tilting the Supreme Court firmly to the right for years to come — before November elections when Republicans risk losing control of Congress.
Ford alleges that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her at a party when he was 17, she was 15 and they were attending private schools outside Washington in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh denies knowledge of any such assault and wants to give his side of the story to the committee. The White House later also pushed back on Ford’s claims.