Accuser wants FBI to recheck Kavanaugh
by Harvest Prude
Posted 9/19/18, 01:31 pm
A California college professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both teenagers has asked for an FBI investigation into the incident before she agrees to testify at a hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee invited Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh to speak at a continuation of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing Monday.
Ford’s lawyers, Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, sent a letter Tuesday to committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asking for an investigation before the committee made a decision on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The attorneys said that since Ford’s story went public, her “worst fears have materialized” and she has received harassment and threats. For Ford to testify publicly “at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh” constituted something “no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to,” they wrote.
Grassley said the committee offered Ford and her representatives the option of either a public or private hearing, and the Monday invitation still stands. “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events,” he said. “Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay.” A representative for the committee said the plan was for Ford and Kavanaugh to appear on two separate panels.
Senate Democrats also demand that, in light of Ford’s accusations, the FBI reopen its background check on Kavanaugh before the confirmation process proceeds. Republicans rescheduled the committee vote planned for Thursday in order to hear from Ford, but with it uncertain she’ll testify, some senators want to move forward with the confirmation process. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who is not on the Judiciary Committee, tweeted, “Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.”
A former classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Patrick J. Smyth, also sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee, denying that he was involved in the incident described by Ford. “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,” he said. “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
President Donald Trump spoke to reporters Wednesday about Ford’s accusations. “Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing that’ll be very interesting,” the president said as he left the White House to survey storm damage in North Carolina. “We’ll have to make a decision. But I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man. Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.