Christine Blasey Ford is now preparing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, according to a New York Times report Thursday. But she’s asking the senators to abide by conditions that will ensure her safety.
Previously, it wasn’t clear whether Ford would come before the panel to detail her sexual assault allegations regarding the Supreme Court nominee, which were first made public Sunday by the Washington Post. Ford’s lawyers had requested a full FBI investigation before she would agree to testify, and Democrats had accused the panel of unnecessarily rushing Ford through the proceedings. Republicans had asked that she testify on Monday or, they warned, they’d move forward with the confirmation process without hearing from her directly.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations against him and has said he’d be willing to testify before the committee. Republicans have also offered Ford the option of testifying in a closed-door session, or they could send staff to interview her in California, where she lives.
Ford’s attorneys said she still holds a “strong preference” for a full investigation, according to an email obtained by the New York Times. And she doesn’t want to testify on Monday. But Debra Katz, her lawyer, said she’s willing to set conditions with the Senate Judiciary Committee in an effort to testify.
Ford, a research psychologist at a California university, has been receiving death threats since she came forward, and has fled her home as a result.
She alleged Kavanaugh, then 17, pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to take off her clothing during a party when they were both teens in the early 1980s. He covered her mouth to muffle her screams, she said, and she feared he might accidentally kill her. A friend of his in the room at the time jumped on both of them, and she was able to get away.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary committee, was first made aware of Ford’s allegations in July, but Ford was apparently not yet ready to make her name public at that time. Republicans say they didn’t learn of the accusations until the Washington Post report.
There's a lot on the line: Kavanaugh’s appointment would swing the nation’s highest court decidedly to the right. He’d be the second conservative justice appointed under President Donald Trump since he took office 19 months ago.
Cover: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, accompanied by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, center, speaks with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington..(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)