Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. The Northern California professor claims that Kavanaugh groped her and forced himself on her while at a party when they were teens. According to the New York Times, the professor says that the hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to have regarding the allegations is unfair.
Dr. Blasey’s lawyer, Lisa J. Banks, spoke on her behalf and stated that she would cooperate with the committee during its consideration of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court position vacated by Anthony Kennedy, but said that she would not appear at a hearing where it would just be the two of them as witnesses. Banks released a statement about the hearing.
“The committee’s stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding. The rush to a hearing is unnecessary and contrary to the committee discovering the truth.”
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), said that he was flexible with how to handle the hearing, but not about the dates. As the Times reports, “he offered to hold a public hearing or to conduct the interview behind closed doors, whichever she preferred, and that Dr. Blasey could be questioned by staff members or lawyers who could interview her in California.”
But when Dr. Blasey requested an FBI investigation, Grassley denied her request, saying that he would not delay the hearing past Monday.
“It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this Committee, and the American people to delay this hearing any further,” Grassley said in a statement.
President Donald Trump spoke about the allegations before traveling to North Carolina. Though he held back from lambasting Dr. Blasey, he did side with Kavanaugh.
“Really, they’re hurting somebody’s life,” said Trump, referring to the Democrats who are considering Kavanaugh’s nomination amid the allegations. “Justice Kavanaugh has been treated very, very tough, and his family. I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on.”
He added that if Dr. Blasey gives a credible testimony that it “will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision,” hinting at the possibility of choosing another nominee for the Supreme Court. However, he added that Kavanaugh is a good man and that he can’t imagine that the allegations are true.