WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman on Friday rejected key concessions sought by Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser if she is testify about her declare Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her once they have been youngsters, and threatened a Monday vote by his panel on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court docket nomination with no fast settlement.
Minutes earlier than a 10 p.m. deadline set by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, an legal professional for Christine Blasey Ford requested for an additional day to determine. Lawyer Debra Katz stated the time restrict’s “sole objective is to bully Dr. Ford and deprive her of the power to make a thought-about determination that has life-altering implications for her and her household.”
Grassley issued no speedy assertion as his deadline expired, and the late-night brinkmanship left in query whether or not Ford would seem earlier than the GOP-run committee and inform lawmakers and a captivated nation about her allegation. Now a 53-year-old California psychology professor, Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a mattress, muffled her cries and tried eradicating her garments when each have been youngsters within the 1980s.
Grassley turned down Ford’s request that solely senators, not attorneys, be allowed to ask questions. The committee’s 11 Republicans — all males — have been in search of an out of doors feminine legal professional to interrogate Ford, aware of the election-season impression that could possibly be left by males attempting to choose aside a girl’s assertion of a sexual assault.
He additionally rejected her proposal that she testify after Kavanaugh, a place attorneys contemplate advantageous as a result of it provides them an opportunity to rebut accusations.
“We’re unwilling to accommodate your unreasonable calls for,” Grassley stated in a written assertion.
Grassley’s stance underscored a need by President Donald Trump and GOP leaders to usher the 53-year-old Kavanaugh onto the excessive courtroom by the Oct. 1 begin of its new session and earlier than the November elections, when Democrats are mounting a sturdy drive to seize congressional management.
Friday was the most recent in a string of tumultuous days for Kavanaugh, whose ascension to the Supreme Court docket appeared a certain wager till Ford emerged final weekend and offered particulars of the alleged assault. Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia Circuit Court docket of Appeals choose, has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Earlier, Trump ended per week of constraint and sarcastically assailed Ford, tweeting that if the episode was “as dangerous as she says,” she or “her loving mother and father” absolutely would have reported it to regulation enforcement.
Trump’s searing reproach of the California psychology professor defied the Senate Republican technique, and the recommendation of White Home aides, of not disparaging her whereas firmly defending his nominee and the tight timetable for confirming him.
The president’s tweet introduced blistering rejoinders from Democrats and a mixture of silence and sighs of remorse from his personal social gathering. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who hasn’t declared assist for Kavanaugh, referred to as the comment “appalling.” It was additionally the most recent provocation — from a person who’s confronted a litany of sexual misconduct allegations himself — of average feminine voters whose assist Republicans might want to fend off a sturdy Democratic drive to seize congressional management in November’s elections.
At a marketing campaign rally in Missouri later Friday, Trump didn’t point out Ford however stated Kavanaugh was born to be on the Supreme Court docket and “it’s going to occur.”
The Judiciary panel’s prime Democrat expressed fury at Grassley’s negotiating place with Ford and maintained Democrats’ effort to construct the battle into a bigger election-year query in regards to the remedy of girls.
“Bullying a survivor of tried rape in an effort to affirm a nominee — notably at a time when she’s receiving loss of life threats — is an excessive abuse of energy,” stated Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Feminine interrogators “are delicate to the particulars of Dr. Ford’s allegations” and would “generate essentially the most insightful testimony and can assist de-politicize the listening to,” stated a letter Grassley’s employees despatched Ford’s attorneys. Kavanaugh, a District of Columbia Circuit Court docket of Appeals choose, has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Grassley stated he’d schedule a listening to for Wednesday, not Thursday, as Ford prefers.
“It’s not truthful to him or to his household to permit this example to proceed with no decision and with out a possibility for him to clear his identify,” he stated about Kavanaugh.
Grassley rebuffed different Ford requests, together with calling extra witnesses. Ford needs an look by Mark Decide, a Kavanaugh pal who Ford asserts was at the highschool social gathering and within the bed room the place Kavanaugh’s assault occurred. Ford finally escaped.
Grassley consented to different Ford calls for, together with that she be offered safety and that Kavanaugh not be within the listening to room when she testifies.
Ford’s request for safety comes after her attorneys stated she has relocated her household resulting from loss of life threats. She deliberate to fulfill with FBI brokers within the San Francisco space to debate these threats, stated an individual near her who would describe her plans solely anonymously.
The GOP letter to Ford’s attorneys stated Kavanaugh and his household have acquired loss of life threats too, “And so they’re getting worse every day.”
Kavanaugh had appeared to achieve momentum amongst Republican senators this week, with rising numbers saying it was approaching time to vote and those that’d voiced concern about Ford’s prices stopping wanting expressing opposition to Kavanaugh. However with the slender 51-49 GOP majority and the unpredictability of how Ford and Kavanaugh would come throughout to thousands and thousands of American voters ought to she conform to testify, his approval stays in query.
Minutes after Trump’s tweet Friday, Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell performed verbal hardball of his personal, drawing a standing ovation when he assured a gathering of evangelical activists that the conservative Kavanaugh would quickly be a justice.
Acknowledging the tumult Ford’s accusation has prompted, McConnell stated on the Values Voter Summit: “Hold the religion, don’t get rattled by it. We’re going to plow proper by means of and do our jobs.”
Trump started his Friday morning with a Twitter eruption from Las Vegas, the place he had spent the evening after a political rally.
“I’ve little doubt that, if the assault on Dr. Ford was as dangerous as she says, prices would have been instantly filed with native Regulation Enforcement Authorities by both her or her loving mother and father. I ask that she carry these filings ahead in order that we are able to be taught date, time, and place!” he wrote.
The comment infuriated many who’ve lengthy argued that girls are continuously overwhelmed, confused and ashamed by sexual assaults and maintain silent and even bury the reminiscence with out confiding with anybody. Utilizing a mix of Justice Division statistics and Census Bureau surveys, the federal government says fewer than 1 in four rapes and sexual assaults have been reported to police in 2016.
Ford has stated she by no means talked about the alleged incident to anybody till 2012, when she revealed it throughout a wedding counseling session together with her husband.
“A extremely offensive misunderstanding of surviving trauma,” Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted about Trump’s assault.
AP reporters Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller contributed.