WASHINGTON – The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee blasted a Republican counteroffer to have Christine Blasey Ford testify before a Senate panel on Wednesday about an allegation of sexual misconduct she has leveled against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“Republicans today announced their intention to move forward with a hearing on Wednesday without talking to Dr. Ford or her attorneys. This announcement was made knowing that Dr. Ford already said she couldn’t come before Thursday. These are serious allegations that should be treated with gravity and respect,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement Friday.
Feinstein added: “Dr. Ford is receiving death threats. She’s had her identity stolen and her email account hacked. She fled her home with her family. But Republicans want to rush her into a hearing. It’s mean-spirited and candidly shows no sympathy or empathy whatsoever.”
Earlier this week Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced the committee will hold a hearing on Monday in which both Kavanaugh and Ford are invited to testify.
Ford’s legal team has maintained that their client should not testify until the FBI has had a chance to thoroughly vet the allegation.
On Thursday the legal team told the committee that Ford is willing to testify sometime next week but not on Monday. On Friday reports emerged that said Grassley offered both Ford and Kavanaugh the opportunity to testify on Wednesday.
The reports said that under the offer Ford would testify first and that outside counsel would question both she and Kavanaugh. Ford must respond to the committee by close of business on Friday, the reports said.
Kavanaugh has agreed to testify upon request. He has vehemently denied the allegation.
Ford told the Post the allegation dates back to a high school party in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh was then a student at Georgetown Prep.
In July Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) received a letter from Ford containing the allegation from Ford. Eshoo gave the letter to Feinstein.
Feinstein announced last week that she received a letter in July referencing an allegation against Kavanaugh but she did not provide specifics. Feinstein said she gave the letter to the FBI and asked that they investigate the matter. Feinstein said she had not come forward sooner to protect the identity of Ford, who had stressed in the letter that she wanted the matter to be handled confidentially.
Feinstein’s announcement was preceded by an Intercept report that relayed the existence of the letter.