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A combination picture of Brett Kavanaugh und Christine Blasey Ford
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/CNP/R. Sachs/ZUMA Press/ResearchGate.net
Politics

Kavanaugh accuser to testify next week

September 23, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her, has agreed to testify before a Senate panel. Ford's allegations have delayed the conservative judge's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

https://p.dw.com/p/35LqE

A California professor, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, has agreed to appear before a Senate panel next week to tell her side of the story, her lawyers said on Saturday.

The details of her appearance have not been finalized, the lawyers said.

US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley had set a Saturday afternoon deadline for Christine Blasey Ford to decide whether and how she would testify.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her at a high school party 36 years ago. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation and pledged to testify.

"Dr. Ford accepts the committee's request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh's sexual misconduct next week," Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, Ford's attorneys, said in a statement. "We are hopeful that we can reach agreement on details."

The lawyers said many aspects of Grassley's latest offer were "fundamentally inconsistent" with the committee's promise of a "fair, impartial investigation."

'Delay tactic'

Ford's allegations, which emerged last week, have delayed the conservative judge's confirmation to the Supreme Court, which would cement conservative control of the top court.

A White House official said it appeared that Ford's lawyers were trying to prolong negotiations.

"We look at this statement as a delay tactic," the official said. "The White House sees this as not an acceptance." 

It was not immediately clear whether the Republican-controlled Judiciary committee would agree to more talks with Ford's team.

Ford will testify on Wednesday or Thursday, according to US media reports. It's only after her testimony that a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation can take place in the Senate.

The Republicans are hoping to place Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court before the November elections, when Democrats are threatening to grab congressional control.

Trump doubts allegations

On Friday, President Donald Trump sought to cast doubt on Ford's allegation.

"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," Trump wrote on Twitter. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"

"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay," Trump wrote.

Earlier, Trump had said Ford should be heard, even if it meant a delay in the confirmation process.

ap/msh (AP, Reuters)

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