Lawyers for Kavanaugh accuser 'accept' Senate panel request to tell her story

Frederick Owens
September 23, 2018

- Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from decades ago, according to two people briefed on the matter.

"I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as "PJ" who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post", Smyth said in his statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Her allegations have delayed the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.

Earlier, Trump ended a week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was "as bad as she says", she or "her loving parents" surely would have reported it to law enforcement.

After Grassley set a hearing for Monday, Democrats demanded a delay to allow time for the FBI to investigate Ford's claim.

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

"I'm not going to answer that", Kavanaugh said at one point according to a senior White House official, who said that the questions were created to go over the line and that he struck the right tone.

The person familiar with Ford's legal team's thinking said Saturday that the attorneys will continue to push for their other demands, including whether senators will question Ford directly or whether they will use staff attorneys, and whether they will subpoena Judge.

On Saturday night, Leland Ingham Keyser, a classmate of Ford's at the all-girls school Holton-Arms and her final named witness, denied any recollection of attending a party with Brett Kavanaugh.

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Kavanaugh has said he wanted to testify before the committee to refute the allegation, and Ford's attorneys have told the committee that she has accepted their request for testimony.

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

FILE - A demonstrator holds a sign as protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, July 9, 2018, after President Donald Trump announced Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation and pledged to testify at Monday's hearing.

Ford and Kavanaugh are expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

But Ford's lawyers say details of her appearance have yet to be worked out and they criticized Republicans for the way negotiations with their client have been conducted. Katz and Ford did not accept their offer and instead made a counteroffer to discuss more details, thus delaying the process even further.

Kavanaugh had seemed to gain momentum among Republican senators this week, with growing numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those who'd voiced concern about Ford's charges stopping short of expressing opposition to Kavanaugh.

The GOP letter to Ford's lawyers said Kavanaugh and his family have received death threats, too. According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 38% of registered voters now oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation, while 34% support it.

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