Brett Kavanaugh accuser in talks to testify next week, report says

Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer told a Senate Committee that Dr Ford would be prepared to testify about allegations against Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh next week if the terms are fair and her safety is ensured.
Protesters voice their opposition to Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Protesters voice their opposition to Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her would be prepared to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week under "terms that are fair," her lawyers told the panel, according to the New York Times.

Christine Blasey Ford's attorney said in an email to the committee it wouldn't be possible for her to testify at the hearing set for Monday (Sept 24), according to the Times.

The paper quoted lawyer Debra Katz as saying she wanted to discuss with the committee on Thursday the terms under which Ford would appear later.

The move seeks to end a stalemate over the terms of Ford's testimony on her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in the early 1980s when both were teenagers.

Kavanaugh denies any attack occurred, and Republicans have appeared poised to seek a confirmation vote as early as next week if she does not agree to testify.

Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley on Wednesday had given Ford, a California college professor, a deadline of Friday at 10am to commit to Monday's hearing. He also offered to have Ford interviewed privately if she prefers, and to send staff to California to do so.

Democrats have demanded a delay in the hearing to allow time for the FBI to investigate Ford's claim. President Donald Trump has said he won't ask the FBI to reopen its background probe of Kavanaugh.

 
 
 

Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told Democrats on the committee on Wednesday that he had no further patience for delays in Kavanaugh's confirmation process.

"There has been delay and obstruction of this process at every turn and with every argument available," Grassley wrote.

"Therefore, I will view any additional complaints about the process very sceptically."

The Times said Katz told committee Republicans and Democrats in the email Thursday that it was Ford's "strong preference" to have a full investigation before her testimony, though the email didn't demand an FBI investigation and suggested she may agree to testify without one.