Deadline looms for accuser of Trump's Supreme Court nominee




  • In US
  • 2018-09-20 16:26:02Z
  • By By Lawrence Hurley and Susan Heavey
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies in Washington  

By Lawrence Hurley and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault faced a Friday deadline to decide whether to testify before a Senate panel as Republican lawmakers and the accuser remained locked in a high-stakes standoff.

Kavanaugh, the conservative federal appeals court judge nominated by Trump in July for the lifetime job as a Supreme Court justice, and Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, have been invited to testify on Monday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

It remained uncertain as to whether Ford would agree to appear. Chuck Grassley, the committee's Republican chairman, on Wednesday sent a letter to Ford's lawyers giving her until 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Friday to submit prepared testimony if she intended to show up on Monday.

A group of about 40 protesters, most of them women, clogged the lobby of Grassley's Senate office on Thursday. Many wore buttons with the words "I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford."

They asked to speak to Grassley and were told the senator is in Iowa, according to Marcie Wells of Las Vegas, a member of the Women's March organization that has been outspoken in opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination.

Ford has said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when both were high school students in Maryland, an allegation Kavanaugh has called "completely false."

Her lawyers said on Tuesday she would testify before the committee only if the FBI first investigated her allegation. The FBI has said it is not investigating, a decision backed by Republicans.

On Wednesday, a lawyer for Ford said her client was willing to cooperate with the committee, but criticized its plan to have only Ford and Kavanaugh testify.

The confirmation fight has unfolded just weeks before Nov. 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are seeking to take control of Congress from the Republicans. Kavanaugh's confirmation would solidify conservative control of the Supreme Court and further Trump's goal of moving the high court and the broader federal judiciary to the right.

Trump's fellow Republicans appear to be counting on her failure to quickly agree to testify on Monday as a boost for Kavanaugh's confirmation chances. The Senate is narrowly controlled by Republicans, who have embraced the idea of a quick vote on Kavanaugh's nomination if Ford does not to testify.

"We got a little hiccup here with the Kavanaugh nomination, we'll get through this and we'll get off to the races," Republican Senator Dean Heller, who is running for re-election in Nevada, said in a call with the state Republican Party on Wednesday, the Nevada Independent news website reported.

Ford came forward with the allegation in an interview published in the Washington Post last Sunday. She accused Kavanaugh of attacking her and trying to remove her clothing while he was drunk at a party when he was 17 years old and she was 15.

Ford's lawyer Lisa Banks said on Wednesday in a statement that lawmakers should include testimony from multiple witnesses to the alleged assault, adding, "The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth."

Democrats, who opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation even before Ford's allegation surfaced, pressed ahead with demands for an FBI investigation.

"For this to be a fair, deliberate and open process, we need to let the FBI do its job and allow agents to conduct a full investigation of the allegations bravely brought forward by Dr. Ford," Democratic Senator Chris Coons wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Republicans backed Grassley's approach.

"Chairman Grassley has done a masterful job, demonstrating firmness and fairness to all concerned, amidst attempts to hijack the nomination process by mob rule," Senator John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, wrote on Twitter.


(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley, Richard Cowan and Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view
Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view

While many anticipate the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, legal documents have given the public a preview into his ongoing investigation.

Trump vows veto as Democrats try to block emergency order
Trump vows veto as Democrats try to block emergency order

Democrats controlling the House have teed up a vote next week to block President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, accelerating a showdown in Congress that could divide Republicans and lead to Trump's first veto. The Democrats introduced

ISIS bride Hoda Muthana's family files lawsuit against Trump
ISIS bride Hoda Muthana's family files lawsuit against Trump

The father of a woman who traveled from her home in Alabama to marry an ISIS fighter files a lawsuit against the Trump administration to get her home.

Tucker Carlson Guest Says African Americans
Tucker Carlson Guest Says African Americans 'Need To Move On' From Slavery

A guest on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show on Thursday night said AfricanAmericans "need to move on" from slavery

Father of US-born woman who joined IS sues over citizenship
Father of US-born woman who joined IS sues over citizenship
  • World
  • 2019-02-22 03:56:26Z

The father of an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria sued Thursday to bring her home after the Trump administration took the extraordinary step of declaring that she was not a US citizen. Hoda Muthana, 24, says that she regrets joining the extremists and is willing to face prosecution

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.