The Monday hearing to address the sexual assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may not even happen, according to Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He said that Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford has ignored repeated requests to appear before the committee.
“We have reached out to her in the last 36 hours, three or four times, by email, and we have not heard from them,” Grassley said.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told CNN that Ford would be granted a private session if that’s her preference.
If Ford does not appear at the Monday hearing, the Judiciary Committee may move to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation without her testimony. Now, the Committee is debating whether or not to hold the hearing at all.
“We don’t know if she’s coming or not but this is her chance. This is her one chance,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
The 10 Democrat members of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Don McGahn, White House counsel, asking the FBI to perform another background check on Kavanaugh ahead of the Monday hearing.
Politico reports that Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh, will not testify at all. He has already declined the invitation to speak at the hearing. Ford has named Judge as being present when she was allegedly assaulted by Kavanaugh while all three were at a party.
“I have no more information to offer the committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents,” he wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The law firm representing Ford did not respond to requests for comments made by Politico asking whether or not Ford plans to attend the hearing. As of Tuesday evening, Ford has not broken her silence on the matter.
Late Tuesday, Grassley canceled a meeting planned for Thursday in which the Senate Judiciary committee was expected to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. The meeting has not been given a new time or date.
Committee Democrats have been asking for a delay in the proceedings so that Ford’s accusations can be addressed, according to CNBC. Ford has stated that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was 15. Kavanaugh was 17 at the time.
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations made by Ford. Brett Kavanaugh, 53, is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the D.C. Circuit. He served as a clerk to Justice Kennedy, whom he has been nominated to replace on the Supreme Court, from 1993 to 1994.