Is Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Nomination Doomed?

24 September, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
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Ford agreed that she will testify ahead of Kavanaugh, rather than her preference to appear after him, according to a source familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity, lacking authorization to discuss the talks publicly.

Maybe that is why Ford's attorneys are continuing their game of chicken with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and refusing to agree to terms under which Ford will testify.

But he added "unless there's something more" to back up her accusation, he's "not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this".

The Republican-led committee had insisted that if Ford missed a Friday night deadline to respond to the panel's latest offer, lawmakers would hold a vote Monday on recommending Kavanaugh's nomination for the full Senate to consider.

Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her at a high school party in the 1980s, reached a final deal to testify in an open hearing before the Senate committee this week.

Ford says that Kavanaugh was drunk at a house party in about 1982, and that he pulled her into a bedroom then pinned her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothes and put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming.

But holding onto Kavanaugh's nomination and going through an investigation is a political risk for Republicans.

Vice President Mike Pence calls Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "a man of integrity with impeccable credentials".

"I want to listen to her, but I'm being honest with you and everybody else".


Grassley consented to other Ford demands, including that she be provided security and that Kavanaugh not be in the hearing room when she testifies. In response, Debra Katz, who is representing Ford, wrote in a letter to the committee that its "cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate".

Meanwhile, Republicans viewed Ms Ford's requests as a way to delay voting on President Donald Trump's nominee.

A GOP Judiciary Committee investigator contacted Keyser last Tuesday, saying Keyser had been "identified" as attending that party and wanted to talk to her. Committee spokesman Taylor Foy said Keyser's name "came up" in its investigation. Senate GOP leaders have argued that they have been very accommodating to Ford's requests, while Democrats say Republicans have bullied Ford with unreasonable deadlines.

Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford on Friday, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement. "But, with all of that being said, we want to go through the process".

"The imposition of aggressive and artificial deadlines regarding the date and conditions of any hearing has created tremendous and unwarranted anxiety and stress on Dr Ford", Katz wrote in an email to the committee.

Committee staff has agreed to several additional requests from Ford and her attorneys.

Ford, who asked that the FBI investigate the allegations, said there was alcohol at the party and that Kavanaugh and Judge were very drunk at the time.

Kavanaugh's confirmation appears to turn mostly on the support or opposition of three Republican senators: Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is on the Judiciary panel that Republicans control 11-10; Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"We reserve the option to have female staff attorneys, who are sensitive to the particulars of Dr Ford's allegations and are experienced investigators, question both witnesses", the letter said.

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